New homes look set to replace office block

PUBLISHED: 12:42 24 August 2006 | UPDATED: 14:47 12 May 2010

A PLAN to demolish an office block and develop the site for homes was expected to be given the go-ahead last night (Wednesday). Members of North Herts District Council s Royston area committee were told in a report that the scheme should be approved. The

A PLAN to demolish an office block and develop the site for homes was expected to be given the go-ahead last night (Wednesday).

Members of North Herts District Council's Royston area committee were told in a report that the scheme should be approved.

The project involves the demolition of Heath House in Princes Mews, Royston, and the erection of 56 dwellings and the provision of car parking spaces.

In his report, planning officer Simon Ellis said: "Replacing an unsightly and totally out of keeping office block with a quality design of residential development would improve the environment."

Plans for the site have been the subject of considerable discussion between architects and the council's planning department over the past 18 months.

Mr Ellis said the development would enhance the character and appearance of the site, which is in the Royston town centre conservation area.

There is also pressure from the Government to develop such sites for homes.

Royston Town Council, however, has opposed the scheme and claimed it was an over-development of the site.

There was concern too about an increase in traffic in the area.

Residents in the surrounding area said that an increase in traffic would lead to congestion and safety problems.

Nearby residents in Princes Mews believed the development would cause them a "considerable loss of privacy".

They said, too, that the size of the development was "inappropriate" for the location and would "harm the character and appearance" of the area.

Herts County Council's highways department said problems over the scheme had been resolved.

Meanwhile, the county council's planning obligations manager said there should be a planning agreement with the developer which would see a £10,136 contribution towards library services and £20,328 towards youth and childcare provisions.

There would need to be, too, an archaeological survey of the site as there is "the strong likelihood of significant remains" being present.

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