Woman believes new Letchworth housing development has destroyed garden city principles

Letchworth councillor Lynda Needham and Mark Bryan, technical director, plant a tree at the opening

Letchworth councillor Lynda Needham and Mark Bryan, technical director, plant a tree at the opening of Madden Gardens. - Credit: Archant

A woman who lives next door to a newly-launched 159-home site in Letchworth believes developers have destroyed the very principles they are promoting.

Caroline Walker, who lives on Green Lane, has poured cold water on the idea that Madden Gardens on Blackhorse Road, which was launched earlier this month with a tree-planting ceremony, has been made with garden city principles in mind.

She also says that the developers, Barratt Homes, have disregarded planning conditions by working every weekend since December of last year and having operatives on the site after 7pm.

She said: “Many mature trees were removed, including an orchard, is this what is considered as in keeping with the garden city philosophy?

“Wildlife has been lost in gardens including our famous black squirrels, muntjacs deers, pheasants and birds whose habitat has been destroyed.

“There is constant noise all day and into early evening with language from some operatives quite offensive at times.

“Dust pollution has covered the garden and cars for months.

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“Many residents have lost all privacy and have had to put up net curtains due to their homes being overlooked.

“Barratt’s have changed the way we have lived for 25 years, there has been no consideration for existing residents and the local environment pre and post construction.”

John Farley, Barratt Homes North Thames construction director, said, “At Madden Garden we endeavour to keep the inevitable disruption caused by construction to a minimum.

“We have taken care to put in place a range of strategies, including adapting the build sequence to reduce the potential impact on our neighbours.

“We also adhere to all safety requirements regarding supervision on site.

“In order to put this site back to good use and in line with planning conditions, some trees had to be removed, however we have replaced them with more than 200 new trees, several thousand shrubs and soft landscaped areas of public open space.

“This ensures that these new homes sit within an attractive and well thought out setting, which closely mirrors the local environment.

“The ecology of an area is also a vital consideration when we are planning any new development and a range of bird boxes, sparrow terraces and insect boxes will be provided to maintain and enhance the local biodiversity.

“We have worked closely with our local authority partners and the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation to bring about this development of much needed, high quality new homes.

“We will continue to work with local councillors and the community and appreciate their understanding while construction is taking place.”