12:00PM, Friday 16 October 2020
A set of sheltered housing units in Furze Platt look set to be demolished and replaced with affordable housing, despite objections from some residents.
Gardner House in Harrow Lane currently holds 33 one-bed sheltered housing units, although its use as a sheltered housing scheme ceased in 2016 and it is now empty.
These units will be demolished and replaced with 23 two-bed affordable homes, spread over two blocks. Fifteen of the two-bedroom flats will be for rent and eight will be for shared ownership. The plan includes 46 parking spaces.
In January last year, when the planning application was first made, residents cited concerns over parking problems in the area that might be caused by the development. The nearby street of Queensway is used as general parking by commuters using Furze Platt station. Some residents said the introduction of the new blocks would only worsen it.
Residents of Connaught Close claimed that vehicles have been damaged in the narrow road, and that rubbish collection lorries and emergency services already have access difficulties.
One objection letter claimed that residents pay to use the garages located on Connaught Close – marked for demolition in the new Gardner House development.
However, applicant Housing Solutions said: “No supportive evidence was provided [for] claims these residents were given formal rights to park behind Gardner House. The reality is that this section of Connaught Close is not a public highway.”
Housing Solutions also rebutted the notion that residents had any parking rights granted to them from the Royal Borough when they bought their houses under the ‘right to buy’ scheme.
“[If they had parking rights], residents would have been required to pay towards the upkeep of the roadway, but none of that is the case,” Housing Solutions said. “We accept that some of these residents have got used to free parking. However, that would not be a reason for us to now encumber our land and reduce its value by the granting of any permanent legal rights over it to third parties.”
Construction is scheduled to commence within three years.
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