Barrier grief

PUBLISHED: 10:47 03 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:12 11 May 2010

The planned fence would divide Royston and the A505

The planned fence would divide Royston and the A505

CAMPAIGNERS say a two metre high fence set to accompany a planned housing development would be like a Berlin Wall for Royston. The soundproof barrier along the northern edge of the town would form part of a 250-home development being planned by develope

CAMPAIGNERS say a two metre high fence set to accompany a planned housing development would be like "a Berlin Wall" for Royston.

The soundproof barrier along the northern edge of the town would form part of a 250-home development being planned by developers Fairview Homes for land adjacent to Burns Road and Coombelands.

It would be put in place to protect the new houses and flats from the noises generated by traffic on the nearby A505, and run from the A505 Tesco roundabout to the junction with the A10 and Melbourn Road.

Members of the North Royston Action Group (NRAG), who oppose the development, say it will give the impression that Royston is "closed for business".

A spokesman for the group said: "The building of this barrier is not highlighted in any publicity from Fairview, instead it is only found from wading through the many detailed accompanying documents for the planning application.

"What perception of the town will this give? Members have called it a 'Berlin Wall', with others saying that it will degrade the image of the town and literally say Royston is closed for business.

"The Urban Design Assessment for Royston identifies the gateways to Royston as needing to be protected. The gateway from both London and Cambridge as planned by Fairview will be a fence."

The NRAG was formed by residents opposed to the development, and over 100 people attended their first official meeting two weeks ago.

John Baines, planning manager for Fairview Homes, said: "The way the development is designed will mean that it is at different levels, as the land slopes. We have designed it so the gateways to Royston are preserved as green spaces.

"We also plan to plant trees or shrubbery in front of the fence on the A505 side, and are working with highways to come up with some landscaping ideas, which we'll put online for people to see in due course.

"There is already one of these fences further along the A505 to the east of Royston, shielding the houses there."

Mr Baines and Fairview officials spent the day in Royston yesterday (Wednesday) meeting with residents to try and allay some of their concerns.

Outline plans for the scheme were submitted to North Herts District Council earlier this year, and are currently at the consultation stage. Royston Town Council has already lodged its opposition to the development.

For more information on the plans, visit www.fairview-consultation.co.uk/royston

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