‘Proposed residential development will place parking burden on Letchworth street’

Concerns have been raised over a residential development with no on-site parking.

Concerns have been raised over a residential development with no on-site parking. - Credit: Archant

A Letchworth woman has voiced her concern about the strain a proposed residential development could place on an already overburdened street.

Plans to demolish the defunct Thai Kitchen – formerly the home of The Black Squirrel pub which closed in 2006 – to make way for a three-storey social housing development were submitted to North Herts District Council at the end of February.

But much to the despair of Susan Mitchell – who lives opposite the development in Gernon Road – the proposal does not provide any provision for parking for its residents.

Susan said: “About 60 people is a lot to add to a fairly quiet residential street which already has so many parking infringements.

“We have people parking on double yellows here daily, as well as some people just parking in the bus bay.

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“I’m also not sure whether a social housing development would really be in keeping with the art deco cinema next door.

“I am not the only one on my street who is concerned about the development, but as far as I’m aware only two of us have received letters about the proposal.”

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Building work has already started to extend the Broadway Cinema – to the west of the Gernon Road site – which is set for extension works to provide for a Broadway Theatre to open later in the year.

Meanwhile Active Fitness is appealing the district council’s decision to turn down its application for a 24-hour gym in a vacant restaurant in nearby Commerce Way due to noise concerns.

Susan added: “I think that the theatre is a very good idea as the screenings from the National Theatre have been so popular, but the added noise a 24-hour gym and a social housing development could bring is concerning.”

The application states: “The central location of the site ensures that access to public transport is readily available.

“Emphasis will be placed on sustainable uses of transport, encouraging walking and cycling to minimise any increase in traffic.

“Secure cycle storage will be provided to the rear of the proposed development.

“The development is small, is located on a site which already has no parking provision, is close to sustainable travel modes and therefore its cumulative impacts could not be considered as severe.”

Praxis Real Estate Management, acting on behalf of applicants NW Architects, were contacted on Tuesday, but were yet to comment before the paper went to press.

The consultation period on the application – which can be viewed at www.north-herts.gov.uk – expires on Thursday, March 31.

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