Developer told he couldn't build extension near proposed railfreight site appeals decision

The location of the proposed railfreight site

The location of the proposed railfreight site

First published in News by

A developer told he couldn't build a "visually obtrusive and overbearing" extension on St Albans green belt land is appealing to the Government to overturn the council’s decision - because they approved railfreight plans in the same area.

Planning permission was denied for a two storey rear extension, roof alterations and internal alterations at 127- 135 Radlett Road, Frogmore, to replace the existing 21 bedsits at the premises with 10 bedsits and 11 one-bedroom flats.

But applicant JK Rudkin has now appealed to the secretary of state for the Department for Communities and Local Government against the decision. A hearing will take place to determine the future of the land.

In his planning appeal, Mr Rudkin asked the inspectorate to be mindful of "the need for good quality one-bedroom accommodation within the district" and "the outstanding appeal in respect of the rail freight terminal immediately to the rear, which the secretary of state has indicated that he is minded to approve."

Earlier this month the secretary of state for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, rubberstamped proposals for a 300-acre terminal on green belt land in Park Street.

St Albans City and District Council planning committee originally refused Mr Rudkin’s proposals for Radlett Road as an inappropriate development within the rural Metropolitan Green Belt area that would be detrimental to the open character of the site.

Outlining the reasons for refusing the application, the committee stated: "The proposed extension, by reason of its excessive rearward projection and design, including the proposed crown roof form, would represent an overlarge, incongruous, visually obtrusive and overbearing form of development and would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the building and the general locality."

In addition the committee said a proposed balcony to the rear of the development would result in an "unacceptable loss of privacy" to neighbours.

However, Mr Rudkin’s team will argue the development will improve the quality of existing accommodation without any significant further intensification of use.

A statement to the inspectorate said: "Its effect of the plans on the green belt is minimal and its effect on the fundamental purposes of the green belt is nil.

"The rear design aesthetic is more modern, clean and aesthetically pleasing than the poor existing rear layout and irrespective of aesthetic judgements, the proposed development is not visible from any public viewpoint.

"The scheme has no significant effect on any other neighbouring properties and the minimal possible overlooking to any adjacent garden could easily be overcome by way of condition."

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