Protesters slam plans as ‘completely out of order’

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MORE than 50 neighbours have grouped up to protest a development that they say will overlook their homes.

There are plans to build six new houses and 14 extra car parking spaces in the grounds of derelict home The Grey House in Kitsbury Road, Berkhamsted.

But the plans were rejected by politicians who acted against the advice of their officers at Dacorum Borough Council in November.

Chartererd surveyor Mark Battram, from Tring-based Battram Associates, has contacted the planning inspectorate to appeal the decision. His firm is acting on behalf of Berkhamsted-based Black Lab Developments.

On Thursday at the first meeting of The Grey House Association, set up to preserve the landmark, protesters described plans as “completely out of order.”

Its committee members have hired a planning consultant and set up their own bank account for people’s donations to help raise funds to fight the development.

Chairman David Marsden said: “I have a passion for Berkhamsted. I think it is a great place, and I want to preserve the character of the place.”

Committee member and mother-of-two Helen Jewell said higher levels traffic would endanger children and householders would struggle to find a place to park.

She said: “This is not going to just make parking a pain. It is going to make it impossible for people to go about their everyday business.”

Protesters also say the new development will harm wildlife living in the grounds.

Give your thoughts on the appeal by sending three copies of a letter to The Planning Inspectorate, 3/16 Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN by March 10, quoting application number APP/A1910/A/11/2145295/NWF.

Mr Marsden said: “Put in some passion, so the inspector can see that he’s taking on half of Berkhamsted, basically; that the proposal is completely out of order and we are opposing it loud and clear.”

But town councillor Laurence Handy warned the process could go on and on and cost more each time as the developer tweaks plans and submits them again.

After the meeting, Mr Battram said: “We continue to rely upon the judgement and expertise of the professional planning officers who, after an extensive review, have endorsed this application.”

Visit www.greyhouse.org for more information on the protest.

To donate, send cash or cheques payable to The Grey House Association to Roger Hill, 25 Kitsbury Road, Berkhamsted.