How will NHDC Local Plan impact Royston and surrounding villages?

PUBLISHED: 12:01 05 September 2020

The latest round of Local Plan hearings are coming up at the end of this month. Picture: North Herts District Council

The latest round of Local Plan hearings are coming up at the end of this month. Picture: North Herts District Council

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The latest round of North Herts District Council Local Plan hearings are due to begin at the end of this month – so how will the Local Plan affect you?

The proposals by Croudace Homes has been designed to meet the requirements of the draft policy AS1 in the emerging NHDC Local Plan. Picture: North Herts District CouncilThe proposals by Croudace Homes has been designed to meet the requirements of the draft policy AS1 in the emerging NHDC Local Plan. Picture: North Herts District Council

What has happened so far, and what will the Local Plan bring? The Crow has put together a refresher for those who may not be caught up on the plans.

In September 2016, the draft Local Plan was approved by NHDC’s cabinet, which if successful would bring around 14,000 new homes to the district and shape housing policy up to 2031.

Following the approval, the consultation period opened and local communities and organisations, such as parish councils, were able to submit their comments ahead of its submission in June 2017.

Examination hearings took place in Letchworth in November and December 2017, and January and February 2018 and were overseen by government appointed planning inspector, Simon Berkeley, before he considered the plan as a whole and came back to the council with modifications.

The hearings saw campaigner groups from across the district come out in force to put their cases forward on why the green belt or infrastructure in their areas should be spared in the plans.

Mr Berkeley told the council of his amendments, having looked at the responses received during the consultation. While he did not call for a change in the overall number of homes, he stated that the council should have set out more requirements for prospective developers to meet before planning permission could be granted.

In January last year, a further consultation opened, allowing interested parties to comment on the modifications – which needed to be addressed by the council before the plans could be recommended for adoption.

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In light of further “issues and reservations”, in July 2019 Mr Berkeley called for further hearing sessions to be carried out.

He cited concerns over housing need, the use of Green Belt in the Local Plan, proposed east of Luton sites, safeguarded land west of Stevenage.

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the hearings – scheduled for dates in March and April this year – were cancelled, and have since been rescheduled for September and October, and will be via video call.

What does the Local Plan mean for our area?

Ashwell: A 33-home development west of Claybush Road.

Barkway: NHDC has planned for 173 homes – including 140 homes at BK3, between Cambridge Road and Royston Road. Land off Windmill Close is earmarked for 20, and off Cambridge Road, 13.

Royston: Assigned more than 1,000 new homes.The largest development site, with 330 new homes and vehicular access via the A505, is land north of Newmarket Road. Land west of Ivy Farm in Baldock Road sees 279 new homes, while a site north of Lindsay Close is assigned 40 homes.

Other sites are agricultural supplier in Garden Walk, 20 homes, Anglian Business Park in Orchard Road, 48 homes, land at Lumen Road, 14 homes, land south of Newmarket Road, 300 homes and land at Barkway Road, 18 homes.

Therfield: 12 houses allocated for Police Row.


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