‘Flats will raise burglary risk,’ says neighbour

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A PLAN to turn offices into a block of five flats will put neighbours at risk of burglary, it has been claimed.

Julie Gabriel was speaking on behalf of four households close to the site in the town’s High Street at a meeting of Berkhamsted Town Council’s planning committee.

She said she has been burgled twice and there have been two attempted burglaries at the nearby Blockbuster DVD rental store.

With the new flats, more people will have access to a pathway at the side of her house, she said. She thinks this could give crooks more of a chance to break in without attracting suspicion.

The conversion would damage the conservation area where the properties are based, she claims. Her home dates back to 1850.

She said: “The windows will be looking directly into my home and three adjoining neighbours’ properties. People in the flats will be able to see into the bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens of our homes.”

Wheelchair-bound Nick Goss, who works in the offices that would be converted under the plans, said he is worried his company won’t find another place in Berkhamsted with appropriate access for him.