Locations for potential new developments revealed

POTENTIAL locations for building new homes in Crow country have been revealed.

North Herts District Council published its Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) this week, which looks at areas of land suitable for development over the next 20 years. The sites featured in the report have all been suggested by landowners or developers.

The district council believes 10,700 new homes will be needed in the district by 2031.

Areas identified in Royston include a greenfield site to the east of the town, between Newmarket Road and Garden Walk, which the report estimates could accommodate 341 dwellings.

However, this has been placed in category three, indicating it would be problematic to develop.

Category One sites – brownfield sites which already feature some development – include two in Garden Walk: Royston Town Football Club’s ground and the industrial units opposite.

Also featuring is land to the north of the town, which is currently being developed by Fairview Homes, and the former Priory Cinema site, where North Herts Homes plan to build social housing.

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Cllr Tom Brindley, the district council’s portfolio holder for planning, transport and enterprise, said: “The future of housing in North Herts is a vitally important issue, and we wanted to make sure that all the sites being considered are available for the public to see at the earliest opportunity.

“We’re not saying that we need to build on all these sites, but we need to begin looking at them all thoroughly to establish how we can meet the future demand of people living in or moving into the area.

“I would urge people to get involved with the consultation when it begins next year to let us know what they think about the numbers of new homes being considered, and where they think they should go.”

Small sites in Ashwell, Barkway, Barley, and Reed are also listed. The district council’s cabinet will be asked to authorise a full public consultation on the housing numbers and possible sites at its meeting on January 29. If this is approved, it is anticipated that the public consultation will run from February 11-March 28.