Controversial FOURTH application to build new house on garden in Thorley Park cul de sac
A fourth controversial application to build a new house at Ashdale in Thorley Park has been submitted to East Herts Council.
For the past four years, neighbours in the Bishop's Stortford cul de sac have fought repeated efforts to develop part of a garden.
In the latest attempt, Rivertree Developments Ltd, of Hatfield Broad Oak, is seeking permission to build a two-bed house on the plot, which is about 33m (108ft) long and 7m (22ft) wide.
It belongs to the owners of 24 Ashdale at the end of a terrace of two-storey homes.
EHC rejected the first application – for a three-bed property – in February 2019 because it was cramped and overbearing.
Plans for a scaled-down, two-bed house were rejected in August 2019 and an appeal by the applicant was dismissed in March 2020.
In March this year, EHC again refused proposals for a two-bed home, which Bishop's Stortford Town Council condemned as "over-development on a small land area and on valuable Thorley green space".
In rejecting that application, the district council said: "The proposed development would not provide internal living accommodation capable of providing a satisfactory standard of amenity for the occupiers of the proposed self-contained dwelling."
Infilling at the 1970s Thorley Park estate is an increasing problem, fuelled by the sale of small parcels of land following the collapse of Carillion in 2018. The town council is working with residents to try to protect the open spaces, including land at Winchester Close used as a play area.
Earlier this year, there was a storm of protest when it was fenced off. Developer Ser Contractor Ltd withdrew a planning application to build two detached four-bedroom properties on the site in March 2019.
A second application, for one four-bed house and a garage, was refused permission by EHC and taken to appeal. It was dismissed by a Government planning inspector, who ruled it would harm the area's character and appearance.
A triangle of land at Ashdale close to Sainsbury's and the neighbourhood centre has also been a target.
Plans to use it for a takeaway were withdrawn in October 2019 after a flood of objections. There were similar protests in January 2020 when John Farrugia, of Woodford Green, wanted to build a shoe repair and key-cutting kiosk on the plot. The application was refused but further plans were submitted and they are now the subject of a forthcoming appeal to a Government inspector.