A man who led a campaign against a planning application for 40 retirement homes in Kings Langley said he believes the application cannot be approved.
After Dacorum planners rejected the application from McCarthy and Stone at the end of 2017, the retirement development builders appealed. There had been a public outcry against the proposal and a petition against it was signed by over 1,000 residents.
The hearing was held at The Forum in Hemel Hempstead in March and the result is expected sometime this month.
Paul Rees told the hearing the application was to build on one of the most sensitive sites in the village, adjacent to the common conservation area.
He said: “This planning application would, if it went ahead, abutt the lower common conservation area and it would change the visual character of that part of the village forever. Currently, as one walks down Common Lane, one gets a breathtaking view.
“However, the rear of the proposed large-scale development by McCarthy and Stone would protrude above the historic cottages and buildings and would ruin the view for the hundreds of villagers who walk down the hill and enjoy the scene every day.”
Paul also pointed out that the level of concern expressed by local people was greater than that for any other single proposed development in the history of Kings Langley.
He commented: “More than 1,200 local people signed our petition – which the parish council has confirmed was, in their knowledge, the highest number of people ever to sign a petition in the history of the village.
“When I posted on the Kings Langley Matters Facebook page that Dacorum Borough Council had, in December, turned down the planning application, my post received a record number of likes and comments for this closed group.”
Paul told the hearing that the planning application must be rejected if the key view corridor from Common Lane is to be protected.
He said: “It must be rejected if the sense of open space, villagers and visitors, currently enjoy on the Common, is to be preserved. It must be rejected if the conservation area and the historic and listed buildings, within it, are to be protected and enhanced. I believe that the proposal will not relate well to the existing conservation area and local distinctiveness of Kings Langley.
“Therefore, I believe – along with hundreds of other villagers – that this planning application simply cannot be approved.