By Matthew Gooding
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
WORK to develop homes on an “eye-sore” building site in the centre of Royston is finally set to get under way this month.
North Hertfordshire Homes (NHH) is now ready to begin developing the site of the former Priory Cinema, at the junction of Newmarket Road and Priory Lane, with 24 homes planned for the project.
NHH brought the cinema land four years ago, but initial plans to build sheltered housing there faltered due to funding cuts.
Councillors welcomed the news that work is getting underway.
District councillor Robert Inwood: “I’m delighted to hear that work will soon begin on what has become an eyesore in the centre of Royston, I look forward to seeing the end result.”
And Cllr Bob Smith, leader of Royston Town Council, said: “I’ve been critical of North Herts Homes in the past because for two years their hoardings have been saying ‘coming soon’. Well, when is soon?”
“Now we’re seeing some movement at last, which is good because its becoming a blot on the landscape of the town.”
The development will comprise ten social rent homes, while the other 14 properties will be marketed as shared ownership properties, with profits from the sales going back into the affordable housing fund.
NHH has promised the development will be “sympathetic” to the surrounding area, and use traditional building materials found elsewhere in the town.
Kevin Thompson, chief executive of NHH, said: “The local community has been very patient during -the long journey to get new homes built on this site, so we were delighted when last month’s planning decision confirmed we could finally start work.
“We have now appointed our contractor, Hill Partnerships Ltd so construction hoardings will be up in the next few weeks and residents will start to see activity very soon.