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First Avenue Infill - Near High And Over / The Sun Houses

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Posted

People, I need your help...

A local developer has submitted more plans to build 12 semi-detached houses in back gardens, behind 8-15 First Avenue, which also back onto the gardens of High and Over. (a previous plan was refused 6 months ago)

This is the last open aspect of an internationally important house, and I don't believe that these plans should be allowed to destroy the setting of a unique piece of Amershams history. I have spoken to the Historic buildings officer, and her view didn't fill me with confidence...she seems to think her job is to "manage change"..I think it's to protect the buildings in her care, and worryingly the developer implies he has spoken with her and quelled her objections.

My opinion is that if she isn't protecting these buildings, who is? A planning application to change the outside of High and Over has already been allowed through, and now this is the last straw, potentially closing in High and Over forever.

If you drive down Gore hill, and look across to the trees in front of High and Over, imagine 12 red brick semis stuffed in between First Ave and the trees...

I admit I have a vested interest as I live in First Ave, but I would still oppose this develoment on principle.

I urge anyone with a similar viewpoint to register an objection online at CDC:

http://www.chiltern.gov.uk/site/index.php

you need to navigate through planning to the application, 1474, and file an objection with the "sumbit comments" button.

Thank you all for reading this..

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Posted

The other day there was a programme on BBC 2 about John Betjeman and his interest in preserving buildings. It followed his "Metroland" programme and feature High and Over. The presenter appeared to have similar views and is well known, but I can't remember his name now. I will check at home who he was, as he might be someone useful to contact to gain support.

I would also think Amersham and District Residents Assoc. should have a view on this

http://www.amersham.org.uk/adra/index.htm

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Posted

The other day there was a programme on BBC 2 about John Betjeman and his interest in preserving buildings. It followed his "Metroland" programme and feature High and Over. The presenter appeared to have similar views and is well known, but I can't remember his name now. I will check at home who he was, as he might be someone useful to contact to gain support.

I would also think Amersham and District Residents Assoc. should have a view on this

http://www.amersham.org.uk/adra/index.htm

Thanks for your help... I believe the residents association have already registered an objection but I'll check.

the 20th Century Society are also objecting, and English Heritage have to be consulted as the building is grade 2* listed. I have also spoken to the Bucks Examiner and they are looking into it.

By the way, I am undertaking this campaign with the full support of the owners of High and Over..

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Posted

Thanks for your help... I believe the residents association have already registered an objection but I'll check.

the 20th Century Society are also objecting, and English Heritage have to be consulted as the building is grade 2* listed. I have also spoken to the Bucks Examiner and they are looking into it.

By the way, I am undertaking this campaign with the full support of the owners of High and Over..

You certainly have my support, High & Over stands as a monument to good taste and opposed to the dreary Tudorbethan garbage that developers insist on foisting on us. The planning depts job should be to encourage high quality, forward looking architecture and the highest quality building practices. If they can't manage that, they should at LEAST insist on buildings in our area adhering to the historical architectural style and use idiomatic materials.

It drives me mad.

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Posted

Well I made front page of the Bucks Examiner today!

please register your objections online!

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Posted

Flyssy,

Thanks for flagging this up - I'm not thrilled about looking at some rabbit hutches on my doorstep, but as there is a couple of properties between the development and us, obviously CDC decided not to bother notifying! I hate these sorts of developments - the developer is looking for maximum return and stuffs in as many houses as possible, and doesn't have to live with the consequences.

:angry:

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Posted

Too right there Denise.

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Posted

I've seen back garden developments refused by CDC for UNDERdevelopment of the land.

It would appear CDC want to meet their government set building targets by infilling as densly as possible and avoid encroaching on the green belt.

I know its not nice, and people will always say Not In My Back Yard. But if back yards hadn't been developed in Amersham over the last twenty five years, there would be 300 homes less in the First Avenue, Hundred Acres, Stanley Hill area than there are today.

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Posted

I've seen back garden developments refused by CDC for UNDERdevelopment of the land.

It would appear CDC want to meet their government set building targets by infilling as densly as possible and avoid encroaching on the green belt.

I know its not nice, and people will always say Not In My Back Yard. But if back yards hadn't been developed in Amersham over the last twenty five years, there would be 300 homes less in the First Avenue, Hundred Acres, Stanley Hill area than there are today.

Whether you agree with back yard developments in principle or not, this development has a direct effect on the setting of High and Over, and should therefore be viewed differently.

It's easy to accuse me of NIMBYism, and yes, I don't want 12 new houses in my back garden, which, incidentally slopes upwards so steeply we will lose every vestige of privacy we currently enjoy, but regardless of the other strong issues we are fighting this development on, I would hope other local residents would voice their objections to help protect one of this country's most architecturally important buildings.

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Posted

The other day there was a programme on BBC 2 about John Betjeman and his interest in preserving buildings. It followed his "Metroland" programme and feature High and Over. The presenter appeared to have similar views and is well known, but I can't remember his name now. I will check at home who he was, as he might be someone useful to contact to gain support.

http://www.amersham.org.uk/adra/index.htm

The name of the person is Dan Cruickshank

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/biographi...uickshank.shtml

He may well be a useful person to contact

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Posted

Browsing through the objections on the CDC website I noticed a couple from addresses between 9 and 15 Fisrt Ave - surely these are the people who must have sold their back gardens to the developer in the first place. Cake and eat it? Or am I missing something?

'Monument to good taste', 'architecturally important' - personally I think it and the Sun Houses are ghastly concrete shoeboxes with windows. Just my opinion :wacko:

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Posted

Browsing through the objections on the CDC website I noticed a couple from addresses between 9 and 15 Fisrt Ave - surely these are the people who must have sold their back gardens to the developer in the first place. Cake and eat it? Or am I missing something?

'Monument to good taste', 'architecturally important' - personally I think it and the Sun Houses are ghastly concrete shoeboxes with windows. Just my opinion :wacko:

You are wrong I'm afraid..the developer in question has owned 3 of the gardens for over 20 years, mine included..and the other gardens have been acquired when houses have come up for sale..he has bought them, split the garden, then re-sold or attempted to re-sell the houses with shorter gardens.

You may detest the Sun Houses and High and Over, but the fact that they are listed and recognised as historically important means that thankfully your opinion is a minority one.

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Posted

You are wrong I'm afraid..the developer in question has owned 3 of the gardens for over 20 years, mine included..and the other gardens have been acquired when houses have come up for sale..he has bought them, split the garden, then re-sold or attempted to re-sell the houses with shorter gardens.
That figures. On the other hand, anyone who bought a house with an obviously shortened garden must surely have realised what was going on.

You may detest the Sun Houses and High and Over, but the fact that they are listed and recognised as historically important means that thankfully your opinion is a minority one.
I don't deny it. I even agree that H&O should be protected. But I still don't like it.

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Posted

That figures. On the other hand, anyone who bought a house with an obviously shortened garden must surely have realised what was going on.

that doesn't mean that they have to support it though!...

buying a house with a chopped garden doesn't give an assumed approval of future development..

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Posted

Whilst I happen to share many people's concerns about High and Over, I think the proposed development illustrates much wider problems:

There is generally too much in-fill development in plots that are inappropriate in terms of size, position and infrastructure etc and where a few people profit by devaluing their neighbours' property.

This proposal is more controversial and has higher profile because of H&O, but there are many similar proposals elsewhere in Amersham (eg Hundred Acres Lane), some of which get permission

Also, the council's definition of neighbours (when choosing who to notify of an application) is sometimes too narrow. We only found out about this proposal because it was on the front page of the local paper, even though it goes very close indeed to our garden.

On the bright side, it is now very easy to view planning applications and to log comments via the council website: www.chiltern.gov.uk/planning so I suggest those who have concerns about any planning proposal use it.

And re this specific proposal, there are also very serious safety concerns about the proposed access road, which you can read about in the many objections that have already been lodged. Its ref no for the website is CH/2006/1474/FA.

N-T-A

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Posted

buying a house with a chopped garden doesn't give an assumed approval of future development..

But it does give assumed knowledge of the likelihood of that development.

There is generally too much in-fill development in plots that are inappropriate in terms of size, position and infrastructure etc and where a few people profit by devaluing their neighbours' property.

In-fill is a bad thing.

Building on green belt is a bad thing.

Shortage of housing (and consequent high prices) is a bad thing.

. . . and the answer is?

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Posted

Well, life is never simple.

I don't think in-fill is always wrong; replacing one largish house and big garden with several smaller ones can be a good compromise, but squeezing lots of new houses into a few back gardens with inadequate access and to the detriment of many neighbours (most of whom do not profit from the sell-off) is usually a different matter.

Affordable housing is tricky. Smaller cheaper properties get improved and extended so that they are no longer affordable, and as for building new ones, inevitably there is the NIMBY effect, but that is to some extent reflected in planning policy that talks about retaining the character of an area.

As for green-belt, obviously we want to preserve that in general (though doing so means less affordable housing), but there are some areas that are less green than others, eg the proposal to build 50 homes behind the Jaguar garage. I believe that is technically green belt, but as it is surrounded by the garage and the by-pass it is separate enough from the fields behind to be treated differently.

Perhaps more controversially, I wonder about the fields between Tesco and Amersham on the Hill. Laying aside the fact that the owner may not want to sell, any map of Amersham shows the oddity of this large hole in the built up area, and whilst it's nice to have, I'd rather lose those fields and retain the ones outside the town. As Amersham doesn't really have a proper public park, perhaps part of it could be retained for that and the rest of it built on!!!

N-T-A

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Posted

And re this specific proposal, there are also very serious safety concerns about the proposed access road, which you can read about in the many objections that have already been lodged. Its ref no for the website is CH/2006/1474/FA.

I've tried to look at the comments and objections but when I seek to "view the associated documents", which is where I assume the plans, comments and objections are, I get a screen telling me "no documents found". Am I doing this wrong? Help please as I will be directly affected by this development!

V

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Posted

You should be able to see them from View Associated Docs. This is how I do it and it worked just now:

Go to www.chiltern.gov.uk/planning

Click "View Planning Applications Online"

You may get a prompt warning the page contains secure and nonsecure items; say OK.

You then see an access/licensing agreement. Two boxes to tick then click "I agree".

Near the top left, click Application Search.

The first field on this form is "Application Search Reference" where you enter the application number, in this case CH/2006/1474/FA.

Ignore the other fields and click "Search" at the bottom.

On the page of results, click the right arrow beside the application, in a column labeled "Click to View".

You then have tabs for different info relating to this application.

On the "Important Dates" tab, note that although the Neighbour Notification date has passed the Overall Expiry Date is 21st Sept and other dates are later than that. But I'd still try to get any comments in asap.

Now click the "Associated Docs" tab and then click its "View Associated Docs" button.

This should display a list of all docs relating to it, though you may first get another warning about the page containing secure and nonsecure items, to which you should click OK. Incidentally, one or two of the document descriptions are not quite accurate, but just open them anyway.

I hope that works for you.

N-T-A

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Posted

You should be able to see them from View Associated Docs. This is how I do it and it worked just now:

<snip helpful description.

I hope that works for you.

N-T-A

many thanks - i did that but still no docs listed.

After a think I realised that I had recently changed my internet security for cookies to "high" - changed it down a grade and suddenyly the documents appeared! So - if anyone else is having the same problem that is what it might be.

V

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Posted

many thanks - i did that but still no docs listed.

After a think I realised that I had recently changed my internet security for cookies to "high" - changed it down a grade and suddenyly the documents appeared! So - if anyone else is having the same problem that is what it might be.

V

The associated docs feature won't work in firefox either..you need to use internet explorer

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Posted

The associated docs feature won't work in firefox either..you need to use internet explorer

I hate web sites that don't work in anything but IE. Can't seem to get Opera to work either.

Why the programmers can't think about the more and more people that don't want to use IE

(now ducks as someone points about part of this site does not work in certain browsers :( )

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Posted

I hate web sites that don't work in anything but IE. Can't seem to get Opera to work either.

Or, to put it another way, browsers that don't work with many websites.

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Posted

Or, to put it another way, browsers that don't work with many websites.

I am sure that others more technical will correct me, but I believe certain web sites use non standard features items in their code which IE will accept. FireFox, opera, Safari and other browsers stick to the standards better and it is argued are far more secure than IE. Imagine buying a CD which won't play in different makes of CD player (actually, that can happen!)

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Posted

Imagine buying a CD which won't play in different makes of CD player (actually, that can happen!)

I think DVDs are a better example. There are umpteen standards for the discs - +R,-R,+RW, -RW, RAM etc and even more for the material recorded on them - wav, jpeg, mpeg 1,2 & 3. Many players won't touch half of these standards. Mine played/recorded pretty well everything when I bought it but is already out of date with Blu-ray and DVD-HD now on the scene.

The problem with standards, especially software ones, is that the standards organisations take ages to agree a new one, while the manufacturers (web designers) can get something new (better, more saleable) out very quickly and will always do so. Some catch a cold - think of Sony Betamax - but the likes of Microsoft simply produce the de facto standard. We may not like it, but that's the way it is.

Firefox etc. are open source code and therefore are inherently less secure than IE. The only reason that it appears otherwise is that so few people use them that they are of no interest to the hackers, virus writers and other morons.

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