BSCF's objections to proposed plans for Regent Garage, South Street

Martin Plummer
Development Control
East Herts Council
Pegs Lane
SG13 8EQ
14 August 2014

YOUR REF: 3/14/0978/FP

I am writing on behalf of the Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation to make representations about these development proposals. I appreciate that the deadline for comments has passed, but I hope nevertheless that our points will be taken into consideration before this application is determined.

The Civic Federation welcomes plans to bring this derelict site back into use. It has been an eyesore for far too long. We also agree that, while generally we have reservations about more new apartment blocks in the town centre, this particular site is suitable for such a use.

However, while we welcome the principle of the proposed development we believe that the scale of the development and the number of apartments proposed represents a serious overdevelopment of the site.

The predominant building height in this part of South Street is of two or three storeys. Although the building height rises (as the developers point out) at the point where the road approaches the town centre junction with Station Road and Newtown Road, building heights quickly reduce as one leaves the town centre, and there is currently no building of this height in this part of South Street. Even the new retirement apartment complex, which is being developed closer to the town centre, is predominantly of three storeys.

By contrast, much of this proposed development is of four storeys plus a gabled roof and it is of a height that will overwhelm its immediate surroundings. We suggest too that the number of apartments is too great and the number of parking spaces insufficient for a development of this kind. All these concerns could be addressed by reducing the height of the development to a maximum of three storeys and reducing the number of apartments (but not parking spaces) accordingly. A reduction in the scale of the development would also allow the problem of inadequate access to be dealt with which, we note, has led Herts Highways to recommend refusal of permission.

We hope that in the light of these comments, you will be able to encourage the developers to replace this application with a more suitable proposal.

John Rhodes
President, Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation