Residents continue to fight homes plan

PUBLISHED: 14:13 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:58 06 May 2010

A RESIDENTS association has vowed to continue fighting to save a unique house despite a planning appeal launched by the owners who want to knock it down. Back in January councillors on Stevenage Borough Council s planning and development committee refus

A RESIDENTS' association has vowed to continue fighting to save a unique house despite a planning appeal launched by the owners who want to knock it down.

Back in January councillors on Stevenage Borough Council's planning and development committee refused an application for the site of Gunnells House in Fairview Road to be turned into 14 flats.

They feared it would be an overdevelopment. The applicants, Mr and Mrs Garrard of Garrard Building and Construction, then made another application to build eight flats on the site.

The second application is due to be decided in May. Mr and Mrs Garrard have now appealed against the decision on the first application.

A council spokesman said: "We received an appeal from the applicant. Therefore we are now in the process of notifying the relevant residents and asking for their comments before Wednesday, May 3."

Charles Hawkins, chairman of Fairview Road Residents' Association, told The Comet: "If they think this will wear us down they are wrong. We will not roll over. We will continue to fight."

He went on to say he was concerned that a letter received by residents from the council missed out the deadline date in which they should comment on the appeal.

He said: "In my opinion the time scale is just too short especially with Easter coming up."

A Fairview Road resident who is against the development and did not want to be named, said: "My concern is with the planning department so openly recommending demolition in the first place. How will they now try and oppose this?"

Fairview Road residents now have another concern. An application for 60 homes on the land between Bridge Road and Brick Kiln Road, close to Fairview Road, has been received by the council.

Mr Hawkins said if this development gets the go-ahead the traffic problems in Fairview Road will increase - something that the council is trying to combat. He also said the Old Town in general is been overdeveloped.

* Stevenage will receive more than £4 million for much needed homes thanks to The Housing Corporation.

The money means that up to 119 affordable homes can be created in the town.

The borough council's head of housing, Debbie Rabot, said: "We are delighted with this result as Stevenage's registered social housing landlords will receive 98 per cent of what they bid for.

"There is a real housing shortage in Stevenage and local people make it clear that they don't want to relocate outside of the town. This announcement is good news for the town, its economy and most importantly its people.

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