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Infill 121-123 Hundred Acres Lane


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#1 Fran

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 12:10 PM

See also High and Over topic re proposed infill in First Avenue

The proposal CH/2006/1409/OA to demolish 123 Hundred Acres Lane and build an access road for new houses behind that and 121 Hundred Acres Lane is going to the planning committed on 5 Oct 06.

This is at least the second attempt to develop this site in this way in the last 12 months and hopefully it will be rejected again.

The other fear that if this or CH/2006/1474/FA for a similar but larger development in First Avenue (see the High and Over thread, re the setting/views of H&O being ruined) were to be permitted, it might make it easier for the other one and, eventually, the two could be linked up to make one much larger development. This would lead to a huge and inappropriate increase in density and related traffic etc problems. Certainly both proposed roads are designed open at one end...

Finally, if you are interested in trying to prevent these developments, either now or when they will inevitably resubmitted if they fail this time, it's worth reading the Case Officers Report on the council website, which summarises everyone's objections and quotes from the local plan etc etc. Go to www.chiltern.gov.uk/planning, search for application CH/2006/1409/OA, look at the Associated Docs. The Case Officers Report is named as such and dated 25/09/06 in the listing.

#2 Zoom

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 12:31 PM

Here is the link to the case officers report referred to above
https://isa.chiltern...60925/29499.pdf

#3 Fran

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 10:27 AM

https://isa.chiltern...60925/29499.pdf


The case, and the document referred to above also illustrate the conflict that can arises between the council's policy to build more affordable housing and their policy to retain the character of an area. As the former is partly at the behest of central government, I fear that ultimately that is the one that could have more weight.

#4 Zoom

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 11:47 AM

True... however sticking one's head in the sand doesn't solve the problem.

More housing and more affordable housing IS required and you can't have it all ways. If you protect the borders of the town and treat green areas as sacrosanct then the only possibility is ever denser development of the existing urban area. Hence increasing the pressure on back gardens and changing the character of the existing area.

IMHO reconciling the drivers:
  • accommodating the development of more housing and more affordable housing
  • limiting the impact on the existing urban area
  • reducing the pressure for inappropriate infill development
  • protecting the character and environment
involves hard decisions and compromises.

Of course the first priority is to maximize areas for brownfield redevelopment (genuine not back gardens).

But assuming that isn't sufficient the only reasonable sacrifice IMHO is to identify areas for managed development in currently green areas. A quick look at the map and observation of the locality reveals several obvious possibilities eg
  • along the eastern side of the bypass (back of the Jaguar garage, between the bypass the hospital and the back of the high street (cherry lane)
  • near the northern junction with the bypass and along school lane (Mantles Green ?)
  • in the large area between London Road, and the Amersham College and Amersham International sites (Finch Lane?)
  • the area between Amersham and Little Chalfont at Raan's farm
  • the triangle of land at the back of Tescos.
Unless some development is permitted in these area there will be continuing and increasing pressure for inappropriate infill development resulting in a denser and denser urban area.

#5 Fran

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 11:59 AM

All good points.

But perhaps the bottom line is whether the council has any policy to help them decide what to do when their policies conflict with each other, or is it each individual case on its own merits (in which case we need to monitor planning applications regularly and object strongly where we think appropriate)?

#6 Zoom

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 12:10 PM

Well the council's local plan is meant to set out its policies and priorities.... and in my reading of it they are prioritising the protection of the existing boundaries which is what is causing the pressure on the existing areas IMHO.

#7 Fran

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 12:21 PM

It's not that simple. The grounds for refusing the previous application included the lack of affordable housing and the fact that the proposed houses were too small and cramped to be in keeping with the immediate area (i.e. more affordable). It's impossible to meet both criteria on such a site.

#8 Fran

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 11:56 AM

The planning meeting that will consider this is on Thursday 5th October at 6.30pm for about 2 hours, though obviously this is just one of many items on the agenda. I can't attend, but if anyone can and is able to post details of what happens (3 min speech by a local resident opposing it, 3 min speech in favour, the general mood of the committe and their decision), that would be great. I'll check the council planning website the following day (and thereafter, if necessary) to check the outcome.

#9 Fran

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 07:04 PM

Just heard, proposal withdrawn at the last minute.

This sounds like good news, but given the amount of money, effort and time that has been invested, it isn't the last of this proposal.

In fact the developer's letter withdrawing the proposal (now on the planning website) says:

"I confirm our agreement for me to prepare and negotiate with you a detailed application which will meet with your approval"

Which presumably means we are paying for a planning official to help a developer to create a proposal which will be successful and thus earn them a fat profit and damage our quality of life!!

So just, a temporary reprieve before a bigger battle.

#10 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 04:59 PM

Today we were travelling around the Hundred Acres area taking photos for the Picture of Streets section of the web site

http://www.amersham....eetsofamersham/

To be honest, we had not really been around the area properly for some years and were surprised at the amount of infill development that has occurred. Names of roads we did not know, some not on the map we were using as a reference. Some just look too squashed in! It might be better just to let Amersham grow a little bit outwards, but where would you stop the growth?
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#11 Fran

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 08:42 PM

It might be better just to let Amersham grow a little bit outwards, but where would you stop the growth?


I would tend to agree, though I can't really answer your closing question.

I did read an alarming (and not entirely plausible) statistic in today's Sunday Times. Apparently most "brownfield" development nowadays is "curtilage", i.e. in back gardens or by demolishing one house and building several - and in Bucks in 2004, apparently 100% of new homes built were on such land!!!!

#12 Zoom

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 09:28 PM

It might be better just to let Amersham grow a little bit outwards


Well that's my thought exactly. Some managed outward expansion would alleviate the pressure for inappropriate infill development.

Otherwise we're condemned to ever greater densities.

#13 a t o m i c

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 03:20 PM

Today we were travelling around the Hundred Acres area taking photos for the Picture of Streets section of the web site

http://www.amersham....eetsofamersham/

To be honest, we had not really been around the area properly for some years and were surprised at the amount of infill development that has occurred. Names of roads we did not know, some not on the map we were using as a reference. Some just look too squashed in! It might be better just to let Amersham grow a little bit outwards, but where would you stop the growth?


The obvious place to develop Amersham would be the Gt Missenden side of the old town, as far as I can see. In terms of access it would be excellent, and it might help bring some business back into the old town. I also think that the planners should stipulate that only the highest quality (architecture and materials) development should be allowed - developers would build in Amersham no matter what the restrictions, so the planners have a great opportunity to control the type of development and make Amersham even more attractive.

#14 Fran

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 04:19 PM

The obvious place to develop Amersham would be the Gt Missenden side of the old town


The trouble is, that's the most architecturally significant area and hence probably the least likely to get any permission.

#15 Zoom

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 05:10 PM

If it were me I'd probably look at the area long the lane past St Mary's School or on the hillside from the Amersham International site down to London Road.

#16 a t o m i c

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 03:25 PM

If it were me I'd probably look at the area long the lane past St Mary's School or on the hillside from the Amersham International site down to London Road.


I think that would really spoil our lovely Misbourne valley, personally. You'd also need a load of ne acces roads, roundabouts etc and it would ********* up the 413.

#17 Fran

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 10:05 AM

As expected, there is a new planning application for this back garden development, just over a year after they withdrew a previous application (see earlier in this thread).

You can see details here: Application CH/2007/2263/FA on CDC website.

In essence, the proposal is: "one two storey building comprising 4 flats and one pair of semi detached houses with associated landscaping served by new access".

This development may not directly affect you, but the more back gardens are built on, the sooner it may happen in a garden next to you.

If you want to object to this, the easiest way is via the CDC link above. Alternatively, email: planning@chiltern.gov.uk. You must include Ref Application CH/2007/2263/FA, your postcode and your full name in capital letters. Comments must be received by 31st January.

Two previous proposals were rejected/recommended for refusal on the following grounds, and the new application seems barely changed, so I suggest you mention these points:
  • The density is much higher than is the norm in the immediate area, so the development would be "unsympathetic and out of keeping with the density and general character of the site", contrary to the Chiltern Local Plan.
  • It would create "an unacceptable degree of overlooking and consequent loss of privacy", contrary to the Chiltern Local Plan.
The developer believes he has now overcome those, though I can't say I'm convinced.
  • The third reason given previously was that it didn't include any affordable housing, which was required because the site could potentially be enlarged to one big enough for that to be mandatory. However, the developer has tried to buy more adjacent gardens, got a firm "no", so reckons that isn't an issue. Personally, I think it would just be a matter of time.
The other problem with this site is that a similar, but larger, development has recently been allowed (after appeal) in First Avenue (see High & Over/First Ave); this new proposal is only just round the corner, which raises the longer term spectre of joining the two up.

#18 mvjt

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 11:38 AM

<snip>

[/list]The other problem with this site is that a similar, but larger, development has recently been allowed (after appeal) in First Avenue (see High & Over/First Ave); this new proposal is only just round the corner, which raises the longer term spectre of joining the two up.



Interestingly, it appears as though building on this development is about to start shortly. A big sign advertising the development has gone up outside the house due to be demolished and the developer has decided to do an 'up yours' to the local residents by putting a blown up copy of the newspaper article headed "Site left safe as houses for now" on the sign and calling the site "the folly".

Isn't it nice when grown men come out to play!

#19 David P

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 02:41 PM

It would create "an unacceptable degree of overlooking and consequent loss of privacy", contrary to the Chiltern Local Plan.


I don't see how anyone can object on the grounds of 'loss of privacy' unless they are directly affected by it.
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#20 Fran

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 05:39 PM

I don't see how anyone can object on the grounds of 'loss of privacy' unless they are directly affected by it.

Well anyone can object to a planning application, regardless of how or if it will affect them personally. (One of the objectors to the First Avenue development lived many miles away, in Devon I think.) This one won't quite overlook us, but it's perilously close and if this development ever joined up with the new one behind First Avenue, it would be awful for us and many others. Also, I broadly object to such developments in principle (not all development, but squeezing too many homes in back gardens under the guise of using "brownfield" sites).

However, the planning committee are only allowed to refuse permission on certain specific grounds. As privacy was one of the reasons they rejected two previous applications for the site, and the new plans don't look very different, it seems to me that it's worth reiterating the point. The councillors will already be aware of it, of course, but the number of objections can carry a bit of weight, and the more points one mentions, the better.

Anyway, people can look at all the plans and letters etc on the CDC website and make up their own minds: direct link to CH/2007/2263/FA. You might also want to look at the Case Officer's report into the previous application: Direct to CO's report, which explains the issues in some detail.

#21 David P

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 07:43 PM

Well anyone can object to a planning application, regardless of how or if it will affect them personally.

True, but what I meant was that I don't see why the planners should take any notice of such an objection. 'I don't like this because some complete stranger's kitchen window might be overlooked by some other complete stranger'. Hardly compelling, is it?
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#22 Alan

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 09:28 PM

As expected, there is a new planning application for this back garden development, just over a year after they withdrew a previous application (see earlier in this thread). You can see details here: Application CH/2007/2263/FA on CDC website.In essence, the proposal is: "one two storey building comprising 4 flats and one pair of semi detached houses with associated landscaping served by new access".This development may not directly affect you, but the more back gardens are built on, the sooner it may happen in a garden next to you.If you want to object to this, the easiest way is via the CDC link above. Alternatively, email: planning@chiltern.gov.uk. You must include Ref Application CH/2007/2263/FA, your postcode and your full name in capital letters. Comments must be received by 31st January.Two previous proposals were rejected/recommended for refusal on the following grounds, and the new application seems barely changed, so I suggest you mention these points:

  • The density is much higher than is the norm in the immediate area, so the development would be "unsympathetic and out of keeping with the density and general character of the site", contrary to the Chiltern Local Plan.
  • It would create "an unacceptable degree of overlooking and consequent loss of privacy", contrary to the Chiltern Local Plan.
The developer believes he has now overcome those, though I can't say I'm convinced.
  • The third reason given previously was that it didn't include any affordable housing, which was required because the site could potentially be enlarged to one big enough for that to be mandatory. However, the developer has tried to buy more adjacent gardens, got a firm "no", so reckons that isn't an issue. Personally, I think it would just be a matter of time.
The other problem with this site is that a similar, but larger, development has recently been allowed (after appeal) in First Avenue (see High & Over/First Ave); this new proposal is only just round the corner, which raises the longer term spectre of joining the two up.

There is or was one at the Padock, Chestnut Lane, big house now lots of? :(Does this have anything to do with good planning? No someone making a quick buck and always at someone elses pain, money doesn't care about people. :(

#23 Janet-t

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 12:00 PM

There is also a strong rumour that the land that has been devastated by 'tree fellers' in Hervines Park, backing on to Windmill Wood, is having plans submitted for 28 houses and/or flats. This would mean losing a sizeable chunk of the bluebell woods up there. Already the site looks like a hurrican has been through it!

Janet

Edited by Matthew (MPJ/Admin), 13 January 2008 - 12:07 PM.
Correct error on quote


#24 Fran

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 09:52 PM

There is also a strong rumour that the land that has been devastated by 'tree fellers' in Hervines Park, backing on to Windmill Wood, is having plans submitted for 28 houses and/or flats. This would mean losing a sizeable chunk of the bluebell woods up there. Already the site looks like a hurrican has been through it!

See Hervines tree felling thread, where I've moved the subsequent Hervines posts to.

#25 Fran

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 06:08 PM

The deadline for comments on this application is the end of the month (Thursday 31st January): CH/2007/2263/FA.

As the previous two applications for the site went to the full planning committee, I presume this one will too.

#26 Fran

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 09:43 PM

This will be decided by the full Planning Committee on Thursday 6th March. I was pleased (if a little surprised) to see that it is recommended for refusal. Mind you, the latest addition on the website from the developer rather puts the cat among the pigeons as he claims the case officer's report (which recommended refusal) is inaccurate on various significant counts.

It's all on the CDC Planning website: CH/2007/2263/FA, Associated Documents tab. And that's where the decision will be recorded too.

#27 Fran

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:00 PM

Permission refused on three counts:
  • Too much, too big, too cramped for the location.
  • Parking spaces too near a neighbouring garden.
  • No affordable housing included.
See CDC Decision notice for details.

#28 Fran

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 08:57 PM

Resubmitted only a few weeks after last refusal (now ref CH/2008/0829/FA), and this time an agent for the developer turned up to speak in favour of it.

Permission was refused tonight (unanimously) on two of the three previous grounds:
  • Too much, too big, too cramped for the location.
  • No affordable housing included.
The other reason last time was that 4 of the parking spaces were too close to another property - so they just got rid of them, which meant the revised proposal had too few spaces, though the committee reluctantly didn't feel it was a justifiable reason for refusing permission.

#29 Fran

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 06:56 PM

The Planning Inspectorate are hosting an appeal hearing:
Tuesday 17 February, 10am at CDC offices, George V Road, Amersham

Anyone can attend and those who want to speak must be there before it starts, though I don't yet know if there is a limit on the number of speakers and whether they have to tell CDC in advance (as happens at the normal CDC planning meetings).

There are (apparently) other details on the CDC planning site, but it's frequently down this week for planned maintenance. When it's up, this should be the link to the specific application: CH/2008/0829/FA

#30 Fran

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 07:40 PM

The Planning Inspectorate granted permission at appeal.

This decision, coupled with the permission for the similar development (albeit work has stopped) round the corner in First Avenue will make CDC reluctantly more inclined to give permission to other back garden developments as appeal cost them, and ultimately us, money.