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Car free flats get go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 22:53 09 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:59 03 March 2010

AN application to convert the Grimwade Memorial Hall into modern 'car-free' flats has got the council's thumbs up, despite an unholy row from neighbours.

AN application to convert the Grimwade Memorial Hall into modern 'car-free' flats has got the council's thumbs up, despite an unholy row from neighbours.

The redbrick hall, at the tip of Back and Fore Hamlet has been used as a church hall since 1869.

Now plans have been submitted to convert the hall, named after one of the town's founding fathers, into 31 flats despite homeowners' objections.

Residents from Rope Walk, Fore Hamlet and Duke Street, piled in with their objections to the scheme, which has zero provision for parking.

But, says the council, the development is 'car free' and designed to encourage residents to walk to the nearby town centre.

A report stated: "The borough engineer does not express any concern about the lack of parking on-site. The Government policy advocating reduced reliance on private transport was referred to in support of the application."

And planning chiefs have also agreed plans to turn a garage workshop into flats, despite neighbours' fears they will be overlooked and house prices will plummet.

Residents from Woodbridge Road, Milton Street and Kirby Street objected when plans were revealed to convert the Phoenix Garage vehicle repair shop, on Woodbridge Road, into 32 flats and a pair of bungalows.

Homeowners feared parking chaos and traffic congestion as well as their gardens being overlooked by the flats.

But the council's Planning and Development Committee gave the green light to the project with the proviso developer N and S Properties provides 34 parking spaces and a children's play area.

A report said: "While the amenity areas are small for the proposed number of dwelling units, there is still sufficient distance between the buildings and surrounding residential properties to prevent overlooking and an adverse outlook."

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