Welcome to your local community website...
Councillors told to approve flats built in wrong place
COUNCILLORS will be advised to approve a development that was built in the wrong place and has blocked out the light to a resident's home.
After issuing a stop notice to developers Westcombe because they half-built their mews houses behind Highgrove House 1.5 metres out of position, planning officials at Hillingdon Council gave the thumbs up to a retrospective application.
The report, which urges councillors at Thursday's (14) north planning committee to vote through a modified plan, has been slammed by the Eastcote residents whose back-garden vista has been ruined by it.
A petition with 53 names raised in objection has urged councillors to see for themselves the impact the development has had on residents in Kent Gardens.
Andrew Lakin, 45, is one of those most affected. He told the Gazette: "I was all in favour of work to restore Highgrove House and turn it into flats.
"But I wasn't aware of the additional buildings they wanted to put there. The first I knew of it was the beginning of this year when they started erecting scaffolding.
"They cut the trees down and put these houses up right behind my property. I thought it was incredible given the proximity to our houses and the eyesore they created."
The original application to provide 12 residential units at Highgrove House and erect four two-bedroomed mews houses was granted in January 2007.
But after local resident Helen Ronchetti discovered the mews homes were being built out of position, the council ordered work to cease.
In his report on the retrospective application submitted by Westcombe, planning officer Richard Phillips argued: "The revised siting and design of the mews housing would have a neutral impact, and with the planting of a laurel hedge on the boundary, possibly a reduced impact in terms of the existing planning permission as approved."
But after Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner MP Nick Hurd visited the site, he wrote to Mr Phillips: "The rear of this building is extremely close to Kent Gardens - it will probably mean the ground floor maisonette will have virtually no daylight coming in."
Ms Ronchetti added: "I have never known anything be built so close to a fence before. The only happy ending to this is for it to come down."
Westcombe declined to comment.
We'd like to hear from you. Send your stories, pics and videos