Developer told to re-think scheme

PUBLISHED: 12:12 22 March 2007 | UPDATED: 15:03 12 May 2010

A DEVELOPER has been urged to compromise over controversial development plans in a residential area. Councillors on North Herts District Council s Royston area committee opposed current plans for a site in Green Drift, Royston. But told the developers tha

A DEVELOPER has been urged to compromise over controversial development plans in a residential area.

Councillors on North Herts District Council's Royston area committee opposed current plans for a site in Green Drift, Royston.

But told the developers that a revised scheme would likely to be approved.

The decision came after residents in Green Drift and the surrounding area campaigned for a plan to build 14 homes on the site to be thrown out.

Although district council planning officers recommended approval of the scheme, councillors believed it was an over-development.

Residents had drawn-up 24 points of objection which stated the scheme was out-of-keeping with the area and the development would see an increase in traffic.

Cllr Peter Burt in a clinical examination of the objections said he would "challenge" the views of Herts County Council highways experts who said traffic movement was not a consideration for opposing the development.

Cllr Burt pointed out that Green Drift was already at times congested.

He said a previous planning application involving a property at The Maltings nearby had been turned down due to problems over access.

These access problems would be the same in the Green Drift development, he said.

Cllr Burt continued that he was concerned, too, that the scheme went against parts of the district council's planning policy.

"Simply not liking it is no reason to object. But it is an over-development of the site and we should stick to our policies," he said.

"No-one objects in principle to developing the site, but it is a question of what is acceptable."

The planning application submitted by developers Croudace Homes included the demolition of two properties on the site.

Cllr Elizabeth Beardwell said this would set an "insidious precedent".

She said: "This could see the systematic destroying of all large houses."

Cllr Beardwell added: "If we have guidelines for planning then we should keep to them."

And Cllr Tony Hunter described the planning application as "borderline".

He said: "The properties are not right for the area."

Cllr Hunter continued: "The site is going to be developed but the design at the moment is not quite in keeping with the area."

He said the developer should take the opportunity to "explore" a change in design to the development

In a move to create a compromise, Cllr F John Smith was critical of Government decisions to increase homes developments in the area. "We are not immune from this," he said.

Speaking about the planning application, he said: "It is understandable the developer could see the possibilities of this site, but they have to be seen to be the right possibilities."

He urged that the number of properties to be developed should be reduced from 14 to at least 11 or 10.

In addressing the committee, architect John Crawley claimed: "There is no planning reasons for objections." He said the site was seen as a "sustainable location".

"The density is within Government guidance and is keeping with the location," he said.

Mr Crawley added that the scheme produced a "positive balance".

Earlier Caroline Coates, speaking for the Green Drift residents, said the scheme went against the district council's planning policy.

She said there had been more than 60 objections to the scheme.

The committee decided to defer a decision on the scheme and urged that the developer re-submit a plan that could be more acceptable.


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