Homes plans for former Royston cinema site

PUBLISHED: 18:39 19 October 2011

The derelict site

The derelict site

Archant

AFFORDABLE housing may be built on the site of Royston's derelict cinema site despite funding problems having stalled previous plans.

The Crow previously revealed that North Hertfordshire Homes’ plans to develop the Priory Cinema site, which was also home to a restaurant and outdoor swimming pool, had suffered a setback.

NHH was keen to build a sheltered housing scheme but government cuts demolished the idea.

However, after reassessing its plans, the housing organisation may now build a mix of affordable housing and market sale properties on the empty site.

Kevin Thompson, chief executive of NHH, said: “Selling some of the homes at market sale prices, together with the funds that NHH has available for the scheme, will ensure that we can provide affordable housing for local families.

“We understand that the town council is positive about this approach, and we look forward to its feedback when we have drawn up firmer plans later this year.”

The cinema site at the junction of Priory Lane and Newmarket Road has stood empty since 2008, and several ideas for the land have been floated over the past few years.

Residents in the area have previously told The Crow that they feared the undeveloped site would attract intruders and possibly affect house prices.

A small fire had been lit on the site of the former Green Plunge pool which led to NHH increasing security and bolstering an access gate.

District and county councillor Tony Hunter, whose North Herts District Council Meridian ward encompasses the site, welcomed the news that it may yet be developed.

He said: “I’m delighted that North Hertfordshire Homes is moving the project forward and I’m looking forward to commencment on this site as soon as possible.”

The housing association’s plans were revealed to councillors ahead of last week’s planning committee meeting.

Royston’s mayor and district councillor Robert Inwood said: “It’s great to see that this will hopefully be developed and I look forward to this for local people.

“The housing need is very important for this part of the town.”

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