Affordable homes agreed at garage sites by Three Rivers councillors

Press ReleaseUpdated: 17 November 2023Planning

Plans to demolish some garages in Maple Cross and Mill End and build a mixture of houses and apartments, all to be affordable rent, were given the green light by Three Rivers District Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday evening. All three sites are owned by the district council.

A two-storey apartment block consisting of six two-bedroom flats is proposed to be erected on The Queens Drive site and a three-storey apartment block consisting of eight two-bedroom flats as well as two four-bedroom homes are proposed to be built at the Pollards in the Maple Cross sites.

The applicant, Three Rivers Homes – a joint venture between the district council and Watford Community Housing – had all three schemes approved by members of the committee on Thursday, 16 November. Once built, Watford Community Housing will be managing the properties.

The council has been successful in receiving almost £4.5m via the Local Authority Housing Fund (LAHF) to make the development viable to provide additional Affordable Housing.

The LAHF is an innovative capital fund that supports local authorities in England to obtain housing for those who are unable to find settled accommodation on resettlement schemes.

LAHF will provide a lasting affordable housing asset for the future. The funding will reduce the impact of recent arrivals on existing housing pressures and in the longer term will provide a new and permanent supply of accommodation for local communities, increasing the number of homes in the wider social and affordable housing system.

Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Deputy Council Leader and Lead Member for Planning Policy and Infrastructure, said: “I am delighted that these garage sites will be transformed into Affordable Homes, which are much-needed in the district.

“Furthermore, it is great the development will be taking place on brownfield land as opposed to precious green belt land, which we, as a council, want to protect as much as possible.

“We all know house prices within Three Rivers are quite high. I am pleased these developments will deliver high-quality family housing at an affordable offer.”

Tina Barnard, Chief Executive of Watford Community Housing and Chair of Three Rivers Homes, said: “We are pleased that planning permission has been granted to transform these underused garage sites into 16 much-needed family homes for affordable rent. They will be delivered by Three Rivers Homes, the joint venture between Watford Community Housing and Three Rivers District Council, showing how our shared commitment to partnership working is helping to meet the high demand for affordable homes in the local area.

“We will do all we can to keep disruption to a minimum for local residents during construction and look forward to welcoming the families into their brand-new homes once they are completed.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Indicative drawing of what the homes could look like at the garage site rear of 22 to 32 Pollards, Maple Cross.