Dozens of garages across St Neots could be demolished to make way for new homes, with their owner arguing people are “less keen” to use them.
A number of planning applications have been submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council by Chorus Homes, to demolish 39 garages in St Neots.
In their place, the social housing company is proposing to build affordable housing.
Chorus Homes owns a number of garages in St Neots that are rented to people in the area, however, in its applications to redevelop some of the sites, it said it has seen less interest from people looking to rent them.
It said: “Over the years the take up of garages has reduced mainly because cars have got bigger and the garages are not large enough to house them.
“Local people are less keen to park their cars remotely from their homes and so have made other arrangements.
“In recent times the garages have been used as storage buildings rather than for garaging motor vehicles.
“Chorus Homes has been demolishing vandalised garages and blocks not fit for use and removing the garages from rent.
“As the areas have no barriers or entrance controls, local people and residents from further afield have started to park on the areas where garages have been removed.
“These people have no rights to park on the land as it is private land owned by Chorus Homes and as the car owners are not paying any sort of rent/parking fee they have no rights to continue with this practise.
“Chorus Homes carried out a review of its garage stock and identified which garage courts are under used and can be redeveloped for much needed affordable housing in St Neots.
“It should be noted that Chorus Homes own other garage sites which there are no plans to redevelop and can be used as part of the decanting process.”
Four applications have been submitted relating to different groups of garages. The submitted applications are for the:
- Demolition of 13 garages north of 197 Duck Lane, and to build two three-bedroom homes. Seven of these garages are currently being rented.
- Demolition of 12 garages south east of 32 Mallard Lane, and to build two two-bedroom homes. Eight of these garages are currently being rented.
- Demolition of seven garages adjacent to 46 Springbrook, Eynesbury, to build two two-bedroom homes. Six of these garages are currently being rented.
- Demolition of seven garages adjacent to 13 Mallard Lane, to build one three-bedroom home. Three of these garages are currently being rented.
Chorus Homes said it plans to contact the people who rent the garages to discuss relocating the rented garages for those who wish to continue renting, or to offer allocated parking spaces instead.
The housing company added that its proposals will “utilise” areas of “underused parking” for “much needed affordable homes”.