Meadow saved from housing development

PUBLISHED: 10:59 01 July 2010 | UPDATED: 18:04 25 August 2010

Elderly residents are celebrating after a housing developer s bid to build in their oasis of a street failed.

Elderly residents are celebrating after a housing developer's bid to build in their 'oasis' of a street failed.

Anglia Secure Homes failed in its attempt to build four houses in the meadow off Friars Mews, Eltham, which is adjacent to sheltered housing and fringed by trees protected by a Tree Protection Order.

This comes after the government's planning inspector rejected their appeal of Greenwich council's decision to decline permission to use the land, last Thursday.

Widow Margaret Gardener, 89, of Friars Mews, said: "It is a great relief. Everybody is very happy. It would have caused quite a lot of upset. There would have been a lot of disturbance. It is like a little oasis here, off the High Street.

"Most of the residents here are in their 70s or 80s and are widowed. People come here in their later years for a bit of quiet."

The street is made up of 24 flats and 12 bungalows, owned by Anchor Homes.

Ward councillor Spencer Drury, who together with councillor Dermot Poston wrote to the planning inspector to object to the development, said: "I am so pleased that this decision went in our favour as many of the residents of Friars Mews were deeply concerned by the likely disruption of traffic coming through their quiet close.

"Both Friars Mews and this land are havens which I hope can be sustained in the long-term now that this appeal is out of the way.

"The planning inspector also awarded costs against Anglia Homes."

Greenwich council rejected the application on July 21 last year.

The decision by the planning inspector, reads: "The current site provides an environment which shelters occupiers, many of whom are vulnerable and frail, from some of the hardships of life which might be experienced in accommodation elsewhere.

"In my view, not only would additional traffic pose a perceived and real threat to occupiers, but it, together with the activity that might be expected from a family occupied dwellings with large gardens, would also make the currently self-contained enclave a less tranquil place, where elderly occupiers would be less likely to feel safe and secure."

Fairview, which has taken over Anglia Secure Homes, declined to comment.

Friars luck: Wallace Unitt, May Lynham, Sheila Unitt,Doreen Robinson and Magaret Gardiner, all residents of Friars Mews, Eltham.

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