Anger over new homes in Royston plan


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COUNCILLORS have reacted angrily to the news that a site for more than 300 new homes in Royston could be included in the area’s local plan.

The new site, on Baldock Road, stretches from the current Ivy Farm development to the Little Chef roundabout, about 15 hectares. It is thought it could accommodate 311 houses and flats.

It has been added to the list of sites under consideration for inclusion in the North Hertfordshire Local Plan, which will shape the future of housing development in the district. This document is currently undergoing consultation.

Members of Royston Town Council’s planning committee discussed the site, and another newly added piece of land on Orchard Road, at their meeting on Monday.

Cllr Marguerite Phillips said: “A development like this wouldn’t be for the local people, it would just be for builders to make more money from people moving into the area because it will only be people from elsewhere who can afford to live there.”

And Cllr F John Smith said: “I don’t think we should express a positive view about this, in fact I think we should be pretty negative.

“It would have a serious effect on Therfield Heath, particularly the view to the north.

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“However, we have said before that this would be a perfectly acceptable place for Royston Town Football Club to build a new stadium, and I still believe that’s the case.”

Councillors also raised concerns about the proposed site on Orchard Road, which would see the Anglian Business Park replaced by up to 42 houses, because they didn’t want to lose an industrial area from the town.

An initial batch of development sites in North Hertfordshire, including some in Royston and the surrounding villages, was announced in December, and these two new pieces of land have been added to the list currently up for consultation.

Cllr Tom Brindley, North Herts District Council’s portfolio holder for planning, transport and enterprise, said: “The sites in this consultation have been put forward by landowners and developers, not the council.

“We will need to choose between the sites as we prepare a draft Local Plan, ready for early 2014, which will then be subject to further consultation.

“At this stage we are asking for people to tell us what they think about the newly proposed sites, and we very much welcome the views of Royston Town Council.

“People can find out more by visiting our website where you can find the current consultation papers, and there is also an exhibition at Knights Templar School in Baldock on Tuesday, July 16.”