Homes plan is turned down

PUBLISHED: 13:29 22 November 2007 | UPDATED: 15:19 12 May 2010

A CONTROVERSIAL housing development scheme has been rejected – after a long-running residents campaign. The residents were opposed to a scheme which would have seen the building of 11 properties on a site in Green Drift, Royston. Members of North Herts D

A CONTROVERSIAL housing development scheme has been rejected - after a long-running residents' campaign.

The residents were opposed to a scheme which would have seen the building of 11 properties on a site in Green Drift, Royston.

Members of North Herts District Council's planning control committee turned down the scheme on Thursday evening.

But developers Croudace Homes are expected to submit a new scheme for the site.

And it is already appealing against an earlier decision when plans for 14 homes on the site was rejected.

The committee turned down the latest scheme because it was seen as being out of keeping with the area.

This was in spite of planning officers recommending that the plan should be accepted.

Speaking after the decision, Caroline Coates, who played a leading role in the campaign, told The Crow: "If the developers had listened to the residents originally then they would not have put in this plan."

She said the Royston district councillors on the committee - Cllr Fiona Hill and Cllr Tony Hunter - had raised a number of "searching" questions about the scheme.

"They looked at it thoroughly and obviously understood the issues and voted accordingly," she said.

Ms Coates said she believed councillors voted against the scheme because "they saw something wrong with the application" rather than merely adding support to the residents' campaign.

"What we had done was to identify a lot of issues that needed sorting out, and it was recognised in planning terms that those issues were valid," she said.

She said that residents would not object to a reasonable plan.

"We said right from the beginning that we have no problem with this site being developed, but we do have views on how it should be developed," she said.

"We are probably hoping against hope that the developers now take on board what has been said and come up with a plan to which we do not need to object," added Ms Coates.

In a report to the committee, planning officer Kate Poyser said the density of the scheme had raised "persistent concerns" of residents, but she could not see a "sustainable objection" to the number of dwellings on the site.

Her report claimed the scheme would "reflect the character" of Green Drift.

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