New homes on village pub site approved
Matthew Smith, local democracy reporter
- Credit: Google
Councillors have backed plans to build nine new houses to the rear of a Codicote pub, despite residents' concerns about overdevelopment of the site.
The owners of The Bell, in High Street, will now be able to demolish its current motel outbuildings to build new residential properties.
At a meeting of North Herts District Council’s Planning Control Committee on Thursday, November 4, councillors supported the move.
The proposals had been called into committee by Cllr Ian Moody after a number of public objections were raised.
The plans include two, three and four-bedroomed terraced or detached dwellings. It also included 11 parking spaces for the pub, in case it reopens.
The outbuildings had previously been used as motel accommodation for the pub, but when submitting the application, the owners admitted that following the closure of the pub it had “not been trading well”.
The objections to the new scheme included privacy and flooding concerns, as well as the potential impact on the village’s Conservation Area.
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A decision was due to be made in September, but councillors chose to defer to allow more information be gathered on a Flood Risk Assessment and the heritage concerns.
Council officers had recommended the plans for approval after determining the impact on the Conservation Area was ‘unobjectionable’ after receiving the further details, and the lead local flood authority also removed their objection.
Neighbour David Hainsworth spoke against the proposal during the meeting, and said the site was near to a number of listed buildings and there would still be an impact on the local area.
He also raised further concerns about the flood risk, and issues with privacy from the potential of the new homes overlooking existing properties.
However, the applicant’s agent Mark Westcott of HGH Consulting, said Aldenham Residential had gone to “great lengths and costs” to address the council’s concerns.
Mr Westcott added that approval would also bring the site back into use, and contribute towards the council’s lack of a five-year housing supply.
Councillors ensured that conditions to mitigate the impact on the Conversation Area, including the introduction of landscaping to screen the development from views on the High Street.
The officer’s recommendation to approve the plans were supported by nine votes in favour, and one vote against.