First phase of 325-homes plan to go before committee

Map shows how Phase 1 will fit into the overall development

Map shows how Phase 1 will fit into the overall development in Royston - Credit: Countryside Properties UK

Councillors could rubber-stamp plans for 83 new homes in Royston this week, four years after plans were first submitted.

Developer Countryside Properties UK was granted outline planning permission to build 325 new homes on land surrounding Burloes Cottages, south of Newmarket Road in February 2020, and are now preparing to begin phase one of construction work.

A drawing shows how the entrance from Newmarket Road, Royston could look

A drawing shows how the entrance from Newmarket Road, Royston could look - Credit: Countryside Properties UK

That will involve the first 83 new homes being built, as well as associated parking and infrastructure.

At a planning committee meeting on November 18, councillors will hear the reserved matters of the application - which involves decisions on the site’s appearance, layout, scale and landscaping.

The applicant’s planning statement to North Herts District Council said that they see the new homes as a “logical” extension of Royston’s built-up area, and added: “Our vision is to create a unique place that captures the charm and character of Royston’s heritage and complements the context within which it sits.”

The scheme will include 12 one-bedroom units, 19 two-bedroom units, 32 three-bedroom units and 20 four-bedroom units, across apartments, terraced, semi-detached and detached properties.

The developer has also confirmed that 18 properties will be 'affordable homes', making up 21 per cent of the total.

The majority of the buildings will be two storeys, with some three-storey buildings in the north west corner to ensure the development is appropriate for the local area.

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Improved pedestrian connections and provision for bus access into the site have also been proposed, although a complete bus loop will be delivered in later phases.

Royston Town Council has objected to the proposals, saying members would like to see the housing mix for the whole development and an increase in affordable three and four-bedroom homes.

They also raised concerns about homes along the Bury Plantation being too close to the site’s boundary, access to the flats across a shared surface road, and a lack of pedestrian pavement on the south side of Newmarket Road by the development.

Three residents have also objected to the plans, with concerns about Brampton Road being used as an emergency access point, the loss of greenfield land and that the layout doesn’t reflect the character of the area.

Council officers are recommending that members vote to approve the reserved matters which, subject to the completion of legal agreements, will allow work to begin on the development.

A report to members ahead of the meeting this week said: “I consider that the proposed development would be of good quality design which would enhance and protect the amenities of the site and the area in which it is situated; would be of a suitable scale commensurate to the sites located on the edge of the settlement; have an acceptable and functional layout for residents and visitors to the site; be of an appearance considerate to the site and its setting; and host good accessibility to and within the site itself.”

A decision will be made during North Herts Council’s Planning Control Committee on Thursday this week.

What do you make of the plans? See the report online and email with your thoughts.