As reported in our 2014 Autumn Newsletter, the character of the two Conservation Areas, which have been re-appraised by Hertsmere and re-adopted, is being maintained.
Nevertheless, in its response to recent Planning Applications and Appeals, the Society has worked hard to uphold the Policies.
No.2 Loom Lane, the disused Old School House and former Youth Centre, [listed by Hertsmere as a Locally Important Building, No.123, built in 1878] has been the subject of a number of planning applications. The Society considered that these schemes overdeveloped the site, with too many dwellings packed in and having very little useable amenity space.
After the third refusal, the applicant appealed. During the hearing and site visit, the Society’s comments were robustly repeated. The Inspector was even invited to take a walk up Cobden Hill to look back down Watling Street and assess the impact of the proposed development on the setting of the Grade II Christ Church.
The consequence of this led to a reduction of roof heights and the setting back of the two new houses sited between the Old School and the Church, so that the vista of the church and windows was not occluded.
We welcome the high standard finish that has been achieved by installing 6-8 flint stone blocks at each house front. The retention of the outside shell of the school house has complied with Local Plan Policy 19 [no demolition if habitable], whilst the inside has been modernised, maintaining the original character. Whilst this work created three modern homes, the amenity space of each dwelling is minimal and poor.
During development, the Society was in close contact with the Church Authorities, to assist with the establishment of the exact position of the boundaries before retaining walls were built. When the Radlett Neighbourhood Plan is completed, planning eyesores in our streets should be better controlled, as in Conservation Areas.