Petition submitted over former Letchworth primary school

A PETITION against the size of a care home due to be built on a former school site has been submitted to North Herts District Council (NHDC).

Lannock Primary School in Whiteway in Letchworth GC, closed down in August 2009 and proposals to turn the site into a three storey, 90-bedroom residential care home have been submitted to NHDC.

A public consultation and exhibition was held in October for the public to have their say on the plans but residents on Whiteway were not aware of it, as the architects failed to inform them.

Residents received a letter from architects, Vincent and Gorbing, which read: “We delivered some 2,200 flyers in the area to publicise the exhibition, but due to a serious omission, the residents of Whiteway did not receive this flyer.”

Whiteway resident Mick Bee said: “I think it’s tragic that a worthy project has come out causing such a lot of upset simply because we weren’t consulted for our views about the plans until it was far too late to alter them.

“Now, we can do little but strongly object to them.”

Arto Viravorian whose view from his living room window would be blocked if plans were approved said: “The height from the top of the building compared to the height of my view is far too high, all of a sudden there will be a brick wall going up.

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“The care home needs to be lowered to a two storey rather than a three.”

The site also has outline planning permission for residential development, which is further causing concerns among residents.

Josephine Debellotte of Whiteway added: “The concern for us is the road and the housing application.

“The care home will have very few parking spaces and the road is going to become very busy.”

Other concerns residents have is the lack of car park spaces proposed for 35 staff and visitors and the entrance to the care home.

Under the plans, elderly residents living at two existing homes – Freeman House in Letchworth GC and Minsden in Hitchin – would be relocated to the new building, earmarked for completion in 2014.

A spokesman for NHDC said: “Members for NHDC planning committee will discuss the plans in the New Year, and any comments or representations received will be considered along with the application.”