Royston Town Council votes to ‘strongly oppose’ Gladman application

PUBLISHED: 14:21 02 October 2018

The Gladman proposed development site in Royston from the southern end looking north towards Echo Hill. Picture: David Hatton

The Gladman proposed development site in Royston from the southern end looking north towards Echo Hill. Picture: David Hatton

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Royston Town Council voted to “strongly oppose” the amended planning application for more than 100 homes near Therfield Heath at a planning committee meeting on Monday evening.

Royston Town Council voted to “strongly oppose” the amended planning application for more than 100 homes near Therfield Heath at a planning committee meeting on Monday evening.

The application by Gladman to North Hertfordshire District Council is for a development to be built at Wicker Hall, on land south of Echo Hill and to the east of Briary Lane in Royston.

It is now for 107 dwellings instead of 120 – and includes public open space, landscaping, a drainage system, and a vehicular access point from Briary Lane. The car park nearby would be removed.

Councillor F John Smith said that as the application is not part of the North Hertfordshire Local Plan it’s “too early for it to be considered at all.”

Councillor Robert Inwood said that the area is “well-liked” and the car park is much-used by people accessing the heath.

Councillor Iain Leggett said that Gladman were “jumping the gun”.

He continued: “It’s a developer who disregards planning and disregards what the council is trying to do so that we have a properly developed Local Plan for this town.

“If we are marked as a town of large increase, boy do we need to get it right.”

Town council chairman Marguerite Phillips said that the objection would be on the grounds that the development is “not identified in existing or emerging Local Plan”, as well as the fact that it would be accessed on an existing bridleway via an existing amenity – the car park – and that it would “have a major impact on surrounding area by way of scale and loss of agricultural land”.

She also said there were concerns over risk to water supply and lack of infrastructure in Royston.

She added: “You can hardly get a doctor’s appointment without waiting two weeks and there’s a strain on the schools already.”

The seven council members present – who also included Councillor Ian Coll, Councillor Thomas Perry and Councillor Philip Smith – voted unanimously to strongly oppose the application, which will be decided upon by North Herts District Council.

The deadline for submitting comments to the district council is Thursday, October 11. To see the application – including amendments – and to submit your views, go to pa2.north-herts.gov.uk/online-applications/ and use reference number 18/00747/OP.

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