'Another battle has been won' - residents' joy as Gladman appeal window closes

Ray Munden held a celebration to mark the housing development appeal window closing in Royston.

Ray Munden held a celebration to mark the housing development appeal window closing in Royston - the access route for the Gladman homes would've been where the property next to Ray's is. - Credit: David Hatton

Residents in the Echo Hill area of Royston are breathing a sigh of relief after the time for land agent Gladman to appeal the council's decision to reject a 99-home development passed without a hitch. 

Gladman had applied to develop land at Heath Farm adjoining Therfield Heath with an access route via Echo Hill.

The process was fought all the way by the Royston Says No to Gladman action group and residents. 

The celebration marks the end of a distressing period for the residents, many of whom attended planning meetings and made their feelings known at every opportunity.

As well as access, traffic and safety, there were also concerns about how the development would impact the heath's SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

Orivaldo Barros, who lives at Echo Hill, told the Crow: "It is a milestone - the general feeling is we don't think they are going to go away that easily but it is a celebration for now. Another battle has been won. 

"However, we aren't going to get complacent, but we do think access via Echo Hill is unlikely on any future plans."

The application rejection by North Herts Council was back in April - but campaigners held off on the bubbles until the appeal period had passed. 

The bunting was out for the celebration at Echo Hill

The bunting was out for the celebration at Echo Hill - Credit: Orivaldo Barros

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The process to find out if an appeal was lodged was a complicated one - residents and campaigners only had the celebration when they were sure. 

Orivaldo continued: "The process has brought us together as a community, it's also shown us that collectively in Echo Hill and the surrounding area we have a lot of talent!

"People from all sorts of backgrounds came together to fight this development that was completely unsustainable and to protect areas at risk."

The celebrations took place on the lawn of resident Ray Munden. 

Royston Says No To Gladman campaigner and resident Mr Bubbins with billboard campaigning against the

Royston Says No To Gladman campaigner and resident Mr Bubbins with billboard campaigning against the development. Picture: David Hatton - Credit: Archant

He said: "There is great relief that this completely inappropriate application was rejected and has now not been appealed. 

"Anybody can see that the road systems that would provide access are entirely inadequate. 

"The relief at the removal of this threat on residents from nearby housing was evident by the good turnout and good humour at the celebratory get together."

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