The Watford Nightmare

There are times when a proposed development impacts so negatively on the area and the people who live there, that the residents will want to do everything possible to stop it happening. This is the case with the proposed demolition of Cassiobury House.

Tellon Capital, who purchased the building in 2017, say they would be meeting the needs of the area by building 43,000 sq ft of office space and including a hotel and restaurant. It makes you wonder if they have actually visited Watford! Do we really need more hotels? We already have 3 in the area – 4 if you include The Quarters, which describes itself as a hotel for longer-stay accommodation. With planning permission granted for Premier Inn to build another one next to the Holiday Inn Express, it is difficult to see how there is a need for 6 hotels to be crammed into such a small area. Stick up two more and put in a few slot machines, we might as well rename Watford Las Vegas! A fun place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.

You see all the empty office space available in Clarendon Road, and the 17,000 sq ft that has remained vacant for years in the building next door to Cassiobury House, and wonder where do they think all these extra office workers will be coming from? Cassiobury House, as it is now, can’t fill the space they’ve got.

The issue of vacant office space is only set to increase long after Covid-19 has passed. The current pandemic has demonstrated that the infrastructure and technology for remote working is well in place, and large international corporations have already announced that all, or many, of their employees will continue to work from home after the current crisis is ended.

Shopify, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, have all made statements to this effect. This has been met with great approval from industry experts, as it brings great benefits for both employers and employees. It is also very good for the environment, and it has become noticeable in recent months how much the air quality has improved as a result of the reduction in traffic.

The trees that will be lostWhilst on the subject of the environment, we know that our planet is currently going up in flames. Despite decades of warnings from climate change scientists, it is only in recent times that government has started to take this matter seriously. It is a good thing that they are attempting to reduce the carbon emissions that are contributing to our destruction, but what kind of insanity allows developers to pull down buildings, destroying existing and much needed trees on sites, and then build massive glass structures? These types of building are basically posh green houses, great for growing tomatoes, but with their huge carbon footprint, are extremely bad for people and the environment.

Many experts are saying that these high-rise glass structures impact so negatively on our climate they should be banned!

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