Heathfield Plans on the agenda again

PUBLISHED: 18:47 12 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 11 May 2010

A LONG running planning saga could draw to a close this week, despite local residents expressing concerns about the overpowering design. North Herts District Council s planning committee has twice turned down schemes to redevelop the site at Heathfield,

A LONG running planning saga could draw to a close this week, despite local residents expressing concerns about the "overpowering" design.

North Herts District Council's planning committee has twice turned down schemes to redevelop the site at Heathfield, Royston.

Now a new design, submitted by owner of the land, Kevin Cooper, will go before the planning committee tomorrow (Thursday), with officers recommending that it be approved.

Eleven Heathfield residents have raised objections to the new plans, which would see the existing bungalow demolished, with two detached houses and integral garages being built in its place.

One objection reads: "The scale of the proposed properties is out of proportion for this small plot and its prominent corner location."

Another resident said: "The proposal is not within the footprint of the existing building, which can only result in a more overpowering and dominant feature on this corner of Heathfield."

Royston Town Council has also objected to the application, on the grounds that it "is an overdevelopment of the site, out of keeping with the area".

However, planning officer Naomi Reynard recommends the development be approved.

She said it would have "no adverse effect on the amenities of the neighbouring residential properties, the visual amenity of the locality, or on highway conditions in the vicinity of the site".

Mr Cooper's original plan, submitted in May 2008, was for an L-shaped house to be built on the land.

This led to a protest by residents, and the scheme was turned down by the planning committee last September.

Although this plan was allowed on appeal, new proposals, featuring a five-bedroom house, were unveiled in March this year. This plan was refused, along with a further scheme for two detached houses with linked garages.

Earlier this year Mr Cooper told The Crow that he was "working with the residents of Heathfield and the district council to amend the design so that it can be more acceptable to the majority".

He said: "Heathfield is not in a conservation area, it has no listed buildings within it and there are no protected trees, it is a designated residential area with some very nice and some very dilapidated properties that will be renovated or replaced over time. This application is not over-development of the site.

"We believe we have acted honourably throughout this whole process.

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