Welwyn Hatfield Council backs Panshanger housing plans despite opposition

PUBLISHED: 12:33 05 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:41 05 January 2018

Land earmarked for the housing off Waterbeach in Panshangher, Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Google Street View.

Land earmarked for the housing off Waterbeach in Panshangher, Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Google Street View.

Archant

The borough council has backed outline proposals for 21 dwellings in the heart of Panshanger despite residents’ opposition.

Greenfield space off Waterbeach has been earmarked for the housing after the Development Management Committee supported officers’ recommendation to grant conditional permission.

The application had been called in by Panshanger councillor Terry Mitchinson, who claimed it involved “overdevelopment and loss of local amenity”.

He said in his submission: “This site lies on the edge of a plot originally earmarked for a local school.

“Subsequently planning permission was granted for a care home, which now dominates the area and takes up a significant amount of the plot.

“Had a school been built there would have been provision of a playing field, which would have protected an area of open space between the new build and existing houses.

“I believe the open space that now exists should remain as a buffer between the care home and the existing nearby housing.”

The 75-bed care home, which includes a 20-person elderly day care centre, communal facilities and new vehicle access, was given the green light in 2015 and is now largely complete.

Access to the new housing would be from Waterbeach via a new access road, and the dwellings would be arranged around a central road.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps also submitted feedback, relaying residents’ opposition to 30 per cent of the properties being earmarked for affordable housing.

Summarising Mr Shapps’ submission, the council wrote: “[There are] concerns regarding the allocation of 30 per cent of dwellings to be affordable housing.

“It is considered that this would not be in keeping with the style or size of houses in the residential area.

“Constituents were previously informed that the site’s proposal was for less than 25 properties and none would be affordable.”

Lack of privacy and insufficient parking provision were also highlighted.

However, council officers said the proposed development is compliant with national and local planning policy, and can support 21 dwellings along with a suitable access road.

“Overall, the proposed number of dwellings and proposed layout is considered to be of a good quality and would adequately respect and relate to the overall character of the established area,” officers added.


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