Housing developer submits new application for up to 99 homes near Therfield Heath

The Gladman proposed development site in Royston from the southern end looking north towards Echo Hi

The Gladman proposed development site in Royston from the southern end looking north towards Echo Hill. Picture: David Hatton - Credit: Archant

Housing developer Gladman has submitted another application to build on land south of Echo Hill in Royston, with the timing leading to some residents claiming the firm is taking advantage of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic in order to get the plans through unnoticed.

Gladman originally submitted a proposal for 120 homes at the site near Therfield Heath in March 2018 – they later revised the total to 107 homes, and the application was rejected by North Herts District Council in 2019.

READ MORE: Plans for 120 homes near Therfield Heath revealed in RoystonThe land agent’s new submission is an outline planning application for up to 99 residential dwellings – including up to 40 per cent ‘affordable housing’ – introduction of structural planting and landscaping, informal public open space and children’s play area, surface water flood mitigation and vehicular access point via the demolition of an existing property on Echo Hill.

READ MORE: Concerns over traffic impact around proposed development site in RoystonThe previous development proposal stated access would be via Briary Lane.

A spokesperson from residents’ group Royston Says No to Gladman said: “In minutes of a meeting between Gladman and Natural England, a matter of public record as read out at the planning meeting at which Gladman’s previous application was heard, Gladman stated that the only viable route of entry for this development was via Briary Lane.

“That planning application was unanimously rejected by NHDC and Gladman made no appeal. Now, even after previously admitting that any other entry point is not viable, Gladman have decided to try to take advantage of the global pandemic that is COVID-19 and hope that no one notices this application. This is a cynical and shameful act.

READ MORE: Application for 107 homes near Therfield Heath unanimously refused“While this matter will be decided on planning merit, the people of Royston will see this for what it is: a cynical move by a company to try take advantage of a situation where people are dying, scared and thousands in the NHS working to save lives – all so the those involved in this application can make a quick buck on the back of other people’s misery.

“Gladman should learn the PR lessons of other business that have tried to do this and rightly faced a public backlash,they should do the decent thing and withdraw this application immediately.”

The Crow has approached Gladman for comment, but has not received a response.

Campaigners are urging residents to get involved with their effort, and hope for a strong response.

For more information on the Royston says No to Gladman campaign, go to www.roystonsaysnotogladman.co.uk.

To comment on the application search for 20/00744/OP at https://pa2.north-herts.gov.uk/online-applications/ by April 26.