Nearly 300 homes green-lit for edge of Royston

An application to build 279 homes west of Royston has received the green light. Picture: Getty Image

An application to build 279 homes west of Royston has received the green light. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A development of almost 300 homes on the edge of Royston is one step closer after the planning application received the go-ahead on Wednesday night.

North Herts District Council’s planning control committee resolved to grant permission for 279 homes on land west of Royston, to the north of Baldock Road, and provision of a site for a new first school at the eastern end of the site – adjacent to the Kier housing scheme.

Planning officer Richard Tiffin recommended that members resolve to grant permission for the application by E W Pepper Limited, subject to the completion of a satisfactory section 106 agreement and other legal requirements.

According to the plans, 35 per cent of the housing would be affordable and £1,000 per dwelling would go towards the management of the heath, £100,000 towards improved visitor facilities on Therfield Heath, £200,000 towards community facilities in the town, and nearly £100,000 toward GP services in the Royston area – as well as £250,000 toward an extended bus service.

The scheme will also need to deliver an upgrade to the existing foul water system for the area – an upgrade which should benefit existing neighbours.

Royston Town Council had objected to the application – citing potential access problems, the use of the land for allotments, and the need for sewage problems in the area to be addressed.

Therfield Parish Council had also objected, arguing that increases in housing, pollution and traffic could be damaging to the adjacent Site of Special Scientific interest on Therfield Heath.

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The parish council also questioned whether Royston has the infrastructure to support these houses as well as those developments currently being built.

Neighbours’ concerns included the contention that the site is not sustainable because the majority of residents will use their cars to get to work, and the claim that the proposed twin T-junction onto Baldock Road should be replaced with a roundabout at the New Road junction for safety reasons.

Respondents also argued that there was no evidence of a new school being required, and that the site should be offered for community use such as allotments.

The next steps are that the section 106 agreement should be completed before the end of next month. If it is not completed by March 1, the application could then be refused.