Green light for hundreds of new homes in Royston

PUBLISHED: 12:02 04 June 2015

Don Shewan

Don Shewan

Archant

Development plans which will see hundreds of homes built in Royston have been given the go ahead.

Up to 330 houses on land to the east of Garden Walk and north of Newmarket Road were given the green light by North Herts District Council’s planning committee on Thursday.

Seven members of the committee voted in favour, two against and one abstained.

The application, made by the Hoy Farming Partnership, promises to provide 30 per cent affordable housing and proposes a new roundabout with access onto the A505.

Hoy Farming Partnership agreed to pay a fee of more than £200,000 to NHS England to cover costs of the strain on GP services.

A further £10,000 will go to Icknield Walk First School to help increase childcare provision.

Despite the plans going forward, members of the committee expressed concerns about issues such as transport, traffic and infrastructure.

Councillor Steve Jarvis said: “I’m concerned about access. It needs to function as part of Royston.”

Planning officer Chris Carter said that although access to the site is a reserved matter, proposals had been suggested for a bus to run from Garden Walk to the town, on a route only accessible for buses and emergency services.

Councillor Adrian Smith said the potential increase in traffic was ‘rather concerning’ and questioned how effective the bus service would be.

The committee also voted in favour of a separate application to sell land on Therfield Heath at Sun Hill and Briary Lane for a development of eight houses.

Despite the committee’s backing, the conservators at Therfield Heath and Green must still apply to the government for de-registration of common land.

Don Shewan, who lives in Echo Hill and spoke at the meeting against the proposal, said he was disappointed with the chairman of the planning committee. He said: “I feel he should have deferred consent until the law was checked.”

At the meeting, Don spoke against the plans for the woodland area as the site is a conservation area.

He also expressed concern that trees bordering the site and animals living there would be put at risk.

1 comment

  • While new housing is essential. particularly 'affordable' housing (affordability being a matter of perspective), this is a big development which will have an equally big impact on the town's resources. I don't think £200,000 to NHS England and £10,000 to Icknield Walk School will suffice to offset the pressure on our local resources for more than a few months. Alongside providing for new homes the council should be working to reinvigorate the town centre to provide better and more diverse shops, improved play areas, open sports facilities, youth activities and community projects. We need more than a couple of Tesco stores and a few dozen pubs and takeaways to avoid Royston becoming just another soulless commuter town.

    Report this comment

    Ian Walls

    Thursday, June 4, 2015

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