Thursday, 4 December 2008

Conflict over green-roofed houses

By Colin van Hoek

Residents living in Broughton are furious. Five green-roofed park houses will be built next to a very busy and dangerous road. “Especially at the intersection, where the houses will be near to, the road can’t handle more traffic.” Despite several objections Preston gave Ushida Findlay Architects (UFA) permission to build five green-roofed houses on Garstang Road.

According to the objectors the houses, which will use natural light, solar power and locally-sourced materials, would be ruining the view and cause a decline in road safety. Janet Filbin, officer of this project at the Preston government, claims these objections aren’t valid.

“With five to ten cars entering and exiting the property, it would cause dangerous situations on this busy road”, says Garrido, who’s living close to the site.

According to Filbin this claim is obsolete: “The planning permission for five dwellings was given out more than five years ago, the only new thing is the design of the dwellings. The road safety has been taken in to consideration a long time ago."

A bypass, that will be built on Garstang road after 2010, is the result of that consideration. Also the government decided that a small slice of a cottage, near the entrance of the property where the park houses are planned, has to be cut off. “It’s about 60 centimetres, and it will cause a better view for the people exiting the property”, Filbin explains.

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But also the design, which was new in this planning application, received a few objections. It would have a bad impact on the view. Bernard Jones, also living close to the building site, thinks that the buildings are “too high and too different.”

”It’s like looking up to a office with all of that glass. Next to that it will be ten metres high! I could almost see it from here, and I don’t even live next to the houses. I can only imagine how the neighbours will suffer.”

Derek Webster does lives next to the property, he doesn’t see why anyone should complain or object: “It’s a wonderful project”, he claims, “it’s very eco-friendly and the architecture is of very high quality.”

”It’s always a shame when an old house have to be demolished, but sometimes there’s just nothing you can do about it. Their will always be traditionalists, but it doesn’t bother me.”

The construction on the green-roofed houses will start within three years.

Have a look at this slideshow if you want to now more (visually) about what impact these houses will have on the local area. Derek Webster, living next to the property gives his view in the audio.

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