Residents angry over comments on scheme

PUBLISHED: 10:41 22 February 2007 | UPDATED: 15:01 12 May 2010

RESIDENTS have responded to a councillor s comments backing North Herts District Council s decision to approve a development at the Johnson Matthey plant in Royston that they believe has affected the value of their homes. They believe the development at

RESIDENTS have responded to a councillor's comments backing North Herts District Council's decision to approve a development at the Johnson Matthey plant in Royston that they believe has affected the value of their homes.

They believe the development at the site in Orchard Road, has blighted the skyline - and taken thousands of pounds off the valuation of their property.

In a letter to The Crow, planning and transport portfolio holder Cllr Richard Thake described the development as a "benefit to the people of Royston".

But his words have been met with criticism with one resident, Julie Anne Sparrow calling them "outrageous".

She said: "The value of our property will decrease and it will affect residents' ability to move. I am so angry because there is nothing we can do."

Another resident, Colin Palmer, described Cllr Thake's response as "breathtaking arrogance" and called the expansion a "monstrosity".

Mr Palmer, who moved to his property in August, said: "If I had known that this eyesore was going to be erected it would have fundamentally changed my buying decision."

In the letter, Cllr Thake said the development would create 86 new jobs and the company would contribute £40,000 towards improving the town.

Mr Palmer said: "That's very good, but these jobs would have been created if this eyesore had been erected elsewhere."

He added: "To my reckoning some 300-plus properties are affected by this. On the assumption that £10,000-plus has been wiped off the value of each property then who has got the best deal?"

Miss Sparrow is hoping to arrange a meeting between residents, Cllr Thake and a Johnson Matthey representative.

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