Councillors' plea for talks over tall storeys

PUBLISHED: 16:53 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 14:44 12 May 2010

ROBERT INWOOD: Changed his vote.

ROBERT INWOOD: Changed his vote.

COUNCILLORS want talks over controversial plans for a development on the Ling Dynamics (LDS) site in Royston. They have urged planning chiefs to negotiate with developers Stephen Howard Homes over the height of a block of flats. They want to see the heigh

COUNCILLORS want talks over controversial plans for a development on the Ling Dynamics (LDS) site in Royston.

They have urged planning chiefs to negotiate with developers Stephen Howard Homes over the height of a block of flats.

They want to see the height reduced to three-storeys from the current four-storey plan.

Members on North Herts District Council's Royston area committee are worried about the height of the planned block and the effect it could have on the surrounding area.

Stephen Howard Homes has submitted a revised plan to build 49 flats and eight dwellings on the site.

But despite the delay, they have approved plans submitted by McCarthey & Stone for a different part of the site which will see the development of 63 homes in a sheltered accommodation project.

The go-ahead was given in spite of protests from residents in the nearby Chilcourt and Heath Avenue.

Pete Myring, representing the residents' group, told the committee that the plans were "excessive" and "inappropriate" for the site.

He described the proposals as "the thin edge of the wedge" and claimed it could see the start of similar developments right across Royston.

Mr Myring said, however, that residents would support a "sympathetic" scheme for the site.

Cllr F John Smith said he believed the density of the development was "not marvellous", but acceptable.

And Cllr Peter Burt said: "We have to work within existing planning laws and there is no over-riding reason to object."

But there were objections from both Cllr Fiona Hill and Cllr Tony Hunter to the proposals, and Cllr Robert Inwood described the scheme as an over-development.

Although he voted against the scheme he then decided to change his mind and abstained.

Chief planning officer Alan Breckon told the committee that McCarthey & Stone always develop sites to high density and although this was difficult to "equate to planning guidelines" such a scheme would be acceptable.

"It will enhance this area of Royston," he said.

Mr Breckon added that should the outcome be a public inquiry then the district council would not be "in any real position to defend" rejecting the scheme.

Members decided that as a condition of approving the scheme there would be a contribution of £262,500 from the developers to pay for affordable housing elsewhere in Royston.

n Ling Dynamics are still looking for an alternative site, but has said it hopes to remain in Royston.

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