A controversial planning application to convert part of an Aldenham farm into a vehicle repair shop has been approved.

The contentious planning application to convert The Mill, in Blackbirds Farm, Blackbirds Lane, into a vehicle repair shop was approved by Hertsmere Borough Council at a planning meeting last Thursday.

Council officers recommended that politicians approve the proposals "in light of the very special circumstances provided".

Commercial Motors, located behind Watford General Hospital, is facing eviction as Watford Borough Council makes way for a new health campus and mechanics have been told they will be relocated to the new site.

Aldenham Parish Council and The Radlett Society and Green Belt Association both raised their objections to the application, yet councillors accepted the application regardless.

In their report, the Parish council stated that the development will have a negative effect on green belt land and the environment, along with increasing traffic and affecting people’s enjoyment of the location.

A number of households in the surrounding area are also concerned about the plans.

Marc Becker lives near to the site and raised concerns about the heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) that will be using the country roads around the area, should the application be approved.

Mr Becker said the safety of children and parents will be "jeopardised" and the neighbourhood "ruined" if plans were approved.

He said: "Green Belt development can only be authorised under very special circumstances. The claim here is that, due to the Watford Council health campus, one business cannot find a home and we are of course sympathetic to that, this is not a personal objection of course."

He added: "It is simply not for the residents of Hertsmere Green Belt to find a home for one business in Watford, nor has the applicant shown that no other location could be found."

Despite lengthy discussions about the affect the HGVs would have on the surrounding areas, with safety being of particular concern to residents, politicians approved the application, subject to conditions.