Planning application made to knock down and rebuild Howard Cottage sheltered housing scheme in Letchworth

A 3D schematic showing how the proposed Howard Cottage sheltered housing redevelopment at Hamonte wo

A 3D schematic showing how the proposed Howard Cottage sheltered housing redevelopment at Hamonte would be laid out. Picture: The Design Partnership - Credit: Archant

A planning application has been made to knock down a Letchworth sheltered housing scheme and rebuild it as a multi-storey assisted living complex of 71 two-bedroom flats for the elderly.

The plans, submitted to North Herts District Council by consultants Barford+Co on behalf of the Howard Cottage Housing Association, would replace the two-storey, 39-unit sheltered apartment block in Hamonte on the Jackmans estate.

The applicants say the proposed development will provide affordable homes for over-55s, along with a communal lounge with kitchen, hair salon, buggy store and manager’s office.

“There is clear evidence of need for this type of accommodation,” the introductory statement reads in part – “and the proposal will assist in meeting a specific and growing housing need for elderly care within the district, as well as enhancing this part of the Jackmans estate.”

The plans include provision for 46 parking spaces, to be shared by residents, staff and visitors.

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The existing Hamonte sheltered housing blocks were built in the 1970s and refurbished in the early 1990s. Howard Cottage has decided that a complete rebuild will be more cost-effective and a better use of the site than further renovation, ‘with the opportunity to increase the number of apartments that will contribute to meeting the council’s five-year housing land supply shortage’.

Hamonte’s residents – who have moved out – were contacted about the proposals last year, with leaflets also distributed in Ivel Court and the surrounding area. Of the 28 people who gave their opinion at that stage, 23 indicated their support.

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Opponents to the application have raised issues such as parking – arguing that locals already struggle to park as it is – and the prospect that a taller building in Hamonte might obstruct sunlight for those living in Goldon, just north of the site.

Mr H Ali, who lives in Goldon, has formally registered his objection, writing that the ‘project concept is great and will benefit the community’, but a different location should be found.

He added: “The north elevation of the proposed plan shows that all apartments’ kitchen and living room windows will face all houses from 1 to 12 Goldon and these windows all have direct view to our bedrooms and living rooms.

“This will take our right of privacy as we will be exposed to at least 13 windows from seven apartments that will look directly into our bedrooms and kids’ bedrooms.”

Those who wish to comment on the application have until the end of the consultation period on January 5 to have their say.

You can see the plans by visiting and searching for application 16/02915/1.

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