A planning application has been submitted to demolish The Old Vicarage in Great Offley, near Hitchin, and build seven new properties on the site.

If North Herts Council approve the plans, five detached four-bedroom properties and two semi-detached three-bedroom properties could be built.

The application form suggests that the development would include 21 car parking spaces, and seven spaces for cycle parking.

Access to the properties would be from King's Walden Road, where there is currently a small driveway to the Old Vicarage.

At the time of writing, 10 residents had written to North Herts Council to object to the planning application.

They worry that, if the development goes ahead, they will lose privacy and sunlight, and the character of the village will be altered.

There are concerns that properties on Salusbury Lane, which backs onto the Old Vicarage site, will be overlooked by some of the proposed houses. The properties on Salusbury Lane are bungalows.

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A document published by North Herts Council in 2019 lists the Old Vicarage as a "non-designated heritage asset" that is "considered to make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of Great Offley Conservation Area".

The ecological appraisal submitted as part of the planning application also found bat roosts on the site, and recommends that further steps are taken to mitigate the impact on the bats.

The UK currently has a significant housing shortage, and the North Herts Local Plan for 2011-31 identified a need for 13,000 new homes in the area across that period.

According to a report from Heriot-Watt University, around 340,000 new homes need to be supplied in England per year to end the housing shortage. Around 233,000 new homes were supplied in 2021/22.

Residents can comment on the planning application via North Herts Council's website.