Residents fear planned Langdon Hills flats will cause roads chaos

PLANS for a new block of flats in Langdon Hills have been referred to Basildon’s Planning Committee, following concerns expressed by local residents.

The committee will meet next week to decide whether a developer should be allowed to demolish a bungalow at the junction of High Road and Alexander Road, then replace it with a two-storey block of six flats. It would contain two one-bedroom flats and four two-bedroom flats.

Neighbours claim the development will cause parking chaos and worsen their quality of life.
Roughly sixty per cent of neighbours who were notified of the proposed development contacted the council to object.

Council officers have recommended that planning permission is granted – but the application has been referred to the committee for debate after a local councillor was contacted by worried residents.

Deputy council leader Kerry Smith asked for the application to be considered by the committee, not dealt with under designated powers, after hearing residents’ complaints.

He wrote to the council and said residents feared the occupants of six flats would require more parking spaces than the occupants of a single bungalow.

Residents told Cllr Smith that the spaces for the extra vehicles simply did not exist on the road, which they believed was already too narrow and crowded to cope with the large vehicles which would be needed for the construction work.

They added that after the flats were built, the narrow road would be so congested with parked cars that fire engines and ambulances would not be able to access it in an emergency.

In addition to Cllr Smith’s letter, the council received a number of objections directly from residents.
They told the council that Alexander Road already suffered from parking problems, particularly during the school run, as it is a one-minute walk from Lincewood Primary School, which has more than 400 pupils.

They said most surrounding properties were bungalows, meaning a block of flats would not be in keeping with the local area, and that the flats would overlook neighbouring gardens.

They also raised concerns that the development would wipe out a local fox habitat and would result in a loss of green space.

But council officers claim the block has been ‘designed to minimise its height and bulk, so that it does not appeal out of scale with the dwellings surrounding the site’.

Officials added that 10 parking spaces were built into the development and the highways authority, Essex Council, had not raised any objection.

*The Planning Committee will rule on the application in a public meeting at the Bas Centre next Wednesday, October 22, at 7pm.

Charles Thomson

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