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Flats will be blot on the landscape for years, warn residents
4:30pm Wednesday 10th October 2012 in Latest
FURIOUS residents have branded a new block of flats being built in Verwood as “a blight on the landscape for future generations.”
Developers Barratt Homes have been given planning permission for the block in Peel Close, despite changing their original scheme which included a lift for the 29 flats.
Following objections from Verwood Town Council and concerns from civic planners over the lack of a lift and the “bland design,” revised plans were granted earlier this month.
Verwood Mayor Simon Gibson said: “It is so frustrating because local residents haven’t had a say in what is happening on their own doorsteps.”
Verwood residents’ association member Tony Kell said: “This is yet another carbuncle rising up in Verwood, in the very heart of this once attractive town.”
Derek Martin, 78, who also lives nearby, said: “There are already parking problems; this is only going to make matters worse” while Marilyn Warburton, 66, said: “Having no lift is discriminating against the elderly and less able as well as young families and injured military personnel.”
Karen Holcombe, practice manager at nearby Verwood Surgery, said: “We are particularly concerned with the lack of parking provision. With increased traffic we are worried about access of emergency vehicles to the surgery.”
David McIntosh, chief executive of Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership, said: “The original application, including a lift, was refused back in 2007 but was subsequently allowed on appeal.
“The revised application was deferred to allow officers to seek improvements to the design and to renegotiate with the developer with a view to the lift being reinstated.”
He said East Dorset council had sought legal advice and been told that a refusal on the grounds of the absence of a lift could not be defended at appeal.
A Barratt Homes spokesman said: “Much consideration has gone into the planning of this development and we have worked very closely with East Dorset District Council to ensure the plans are both appropriate and practical.
“This includes a well thought out parking layout to ensure there is parking provision for each dwelling.”