Council threat to play tough

PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 January 2006 | UPDATED: 17:11 11 May 2010

Twigden Homes

Twigden Homes

A DEVELOPER may face a court injunction following the rejection of controversial building plans. After proposals to build 32 homes at Redwing Rise, Royston, were turned down by North Herts District councillors, Twigden Homes may face court proceedings. Th

A DEVELOPER may face a court injunction following the rejection of controversial building plans.

After proposals to build 32 homes at Redwing Rise, Royston, were turned down by North Herts District councillors, Twigden Homes may face court proceedings.

The developers had been legally obliged to build a children's play area and carry out landscaping under a previous planning agreement.

The latest proposal was for homes on the playground site but for play facilities elsewhere - so the original order could not have been enforced.

However, following refusal of the 32-home plan, a district council spokesman said: "Twigden Homes has been given a period of three months to reach a negotiated settlement on the development."

The play area and landscaping is a requirement under a previously granted planning application for the area, on which Twigden has already built extensively.

The Templars Gate residents' group, formed to oppose the development in Redwing Rise, spoke against the proposals at a recent meeting of the district council's Royston area committee.

Group spokesman Bob Smith told The Crow: "We are delighted that the committee turned down the development and decided to take out enforcement procedures.

"Originally, Twigden Homes planned to build 300 houses, but it has already built 420. It's had its bite of the cherry.

"We are just hoping that Twigden will not go to appeal, that it will see sense and draw a line under it and move on."

Royston's MP Oliver Heald has been active in opposing the development. He said: "I'm pleased the proposal has been refused and I think Twigden should now get on with building the playground instead of trying to build houses all over it.

"Residents are entitled to the play area and I'm hoping that will come soon."

A row has also broken out between the Herts County Council and Twigden Homes over money the developers agreed to pay in order to improve roads in the development.

Mr Heald said: "It seems there's some dispute between the two about the funds that should be paid for these improvements.

"The county is saying it hasn't been paid and Twigden is saying it has already paid."

A county council spokesman said: "Generally, the onus is on the developer or land owner to bring the roads up to the required standard before they are adopted by the authority."

No spokesman from Twigden Homes was available for comment at the time of going to Press.

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