Councillors back Fish Hill, but residents unsure

PROPOSALS to develop Fish Hill Square in Royston have been given unanimous support by the town’s councillors, although there has been a mixed response from residents.

At a meeting of North Hertfordshire District Council’s Royston Area Committee last week (22 September), councillors said the new town centre site would be a “focal point for the town.”

Fiona Hill, chairman of NHDC’s Royston and District Area Committee, said: “We are pleased to have gained the unanimous support of committee members who recognise the potential to bring more people to Royston, and boost town centre business.”

”Investing in town centres throughout the District is one of our three strategic priorities, and enhancing this area is a key action in our adopted Royston Town Centre strategy which itself was the subject of widespread consultation.

“Funding is available for the development which is assigned to specific town centre projects and we want to see that going to Royston as it has to other towns in the district. Now we are looking forward to seeing the finalised plans for the square.”

The committee discussed an interim report on the public consultation on the proposals at the meeting. It included responses from nearly 100 residents, submitted to appointed architects BDP.

Cllr Hill stated that the “majority” of the local residents and businesses who have submitted comments are “in favour” of the proposals.

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However, veteran campaigner Terry Hutt held a petition in Royston town centre on Tuesday to gauge opinion on the proposals.

Mr Hutt’s results concluded that most residents were not in favour of the developments.

“There are lots of other things that could be done with money at this time,” said the Whaddon resident.

“When times are hard I could think of many things more sensible to be spending money on. I don’t feel this is really needed, and most people that I have spoke to feel the same.”

One Royston resident who signed against the proposals said: “Maybe they should think about re-paving Angel Pavement, or maybe putting a roof over it.

“There are more pressing issues the town has to face up to in this climate.”

Royston Area Committee will hold a special public meeting on 13th October, which will give a chance for suggestions on the development.