Anger as Ivy Farm plans approved
PUBLISHED: 10:03 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 13:56 19 May 2010
ANGRY residents stormed out of a council meeting after revised plans for more than 100 new homes in Royston were given the green light. Cries of shame echoed around the council chamber after members of Royston Town Council s planning committee voted to
ANGRY residents stormed out of a council meeting after revised plans for more than 100 new homes in Royston were given the green light.
Cries of "shame" echoed around the council chamber after members of Royston Town Council's planning committee voted to approve the new plans for up to 110 dwellings at Ivy Farm, off Baldock Road.
Councillors said they had no choice but to approve the plans, and vowed to get "the best deal for Royston" from developers.
Bidwells, which is working on behalf of landowner EW Pepper, submitted revised proposals for the site in February after an initial scheme for 135 homes met strong opposition from local people.
About 15 residents from Baldock Road, Green Drift, and Heathfield, all of which are adjacent to the proposed development, attended the meeting on Monday, and speaking on their behalf, Robert Ackroyd said they objected to the new plans because the number of houses being proposed was "still too great".
He added: "It would harm the character of the area. A lower number of dwellings, such as the 69 identified by North Herts District Council in its emerging local development framework, would be more suitable."
Royston mayor Cllr Rod Kennedy, a resident of Heathfield, had opposed the previous application, but said: "I don't like it, I would prefer if there was no more housing built in Royston. But this is going to be granted and we have to be realistic."
Cllr Kennedy said that if permission was refused, it was likely the developers would be able to make a successful appeal against the decision because the plans had the support of North Herts District Council planning officers.
And Cllr Lindsay Davidson said: "I understand how the residents feel, but this is obviously going to be developed at some stage and we need to accept that."
She said that the plans appeared to be "extremely generous" in terms of money that would be made available by the developers to provide community facilities under section 106 agreements.
"We need to get the best possible deal for Royston," she said.
But Cllr Philip Mayne said: "We rejected the previous application because of concerns about infrastructure and access. In those respects this new plan is exactly the same, so I don't see how we can support it."
However, the committee agreed to back the plans, and a final decision will now be made by the district council's planning committee.