Developers quizzed over plans for 330-home housing estate in Royston

Rod Bluh addresses residents at Monday's meeting in the Royston Picture Palace community cinema

Rod Bluh addresses residents at Monday's meeting in the Royston Picture Palace community cinema - Credit: Archant

Developers were quizzed by residents after submitting outline planning permission for a 330-property housing scheme.

A public meeting took place on Monday evening in the Royston Picture Palace community cinema at Royston town hall, at which Rod Bluh, from Tristan Fitzgerald Associates, spoke about the plans for the land off Newmarket Road, Royston.

It was revealed that the development will include a chalk and grassland open space for community use, and that the idea for a pub/restaurant, which would have been situated at the entrance of the development near the A505, has been shelved after opposition from residents.

Mr Bluh presented the results of a consultation questionnaire, which was filled in by 140 people, many of whom attended an exhibition on the project earlier this year.

He said: “We had a good debate on the day, and the feeling was that people were very split on the development – some didn’t want it at all and others felt development on the land was inevitable.

“The pub idea went down like a lead balloon, and we were told that there should not be any access to the houses from Garden Walk, so this will be for emergency vehicles only.”

But residents at the meeting raised concerns about the risk of flooding caused by more houses, as well as the extra pressure that would be put on schools and other amenities in the town, as well as the extra traffic it would cause.

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Town councillor Mike Harrison said: “Newmarket Road serves five schools, and I suggest a roundabout should be put at the junction with the A505 so traffic can enter and leave the town easily.”

The land off Newmarket Road is owned by the Hoy family, and is included in North Herts district council’s draft local development plan as a possible site for housing development. However, this document is not being implemented until 2017.

The outline planning application, which deals with the principal of building houses on the land, will be considered by the district council. If accepted, a further detailed planning application will then be submitted.

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