Plans for 124 homes given the go-ahead

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NHDC logo - Credit: Archant

PLANS for 124 new homes in Royston have been given the go-ahead despite widespread opposition in the town.

North Herts District Council’s planning committee has granted planning permission for developer Fairview Homes to build the properties on land south of the A505 and adjacent to Yeats Close in the north of Royston, referred to as Site A.

Royston Town Council had opposed the scheme, along with residents who expressed concerns that more vehicles will be accessing the new homes down the already-busy Burns Road.

Jayne Bratton, chair of the North Royston Action Group (NRAG), spoke at the district council’s planning committee.

She said: “It is a genuine concern of residents that Burns Road is already a very long cul-de-sac of about a mile long, there are four blind bends, two schools, a playgroup, a community centre, a constantly used children’s centre, a doctor’s surgery, local shops and a residential care home.

“The County’s design guide ‘Roads in Hertfordshire’ states that there will be a general presumption that not more than 300 dwellings should be served from a single point and access to the wider road network. Why then is this development even being considered? It will have over 1000 dwellings for a single residents’ access?”

Fairview say they plan to build a separate access road for the new homes which would adjoin the Old North Road near the A505. This is being considered as a separate planning application.

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The developer has already built houses on two adjacent plots of land, known as sites B and C, and is seeking permission to add a further 39 homes on another plot, site D.

NRAG formed in 2009, and the decision to approve Site A marks the end of four years of campaigning by the group. Their lobbying has seen the developer revise its plans on a number of occasions.

Mrs Bratton said: “We started out four years ago to stop an illogical development from being built in north Royston and we believe we have done this. “We have proved that residents who stick together can make a huge difference to their community.

“Thank you to all the residents for their bonded actions, to the committee and especially to councillor Rob Inwood who was with us from the very beginning helping guide and support us.”

Cllr Robert Inwood, a member of NHDC’s Planning Control Committee, said: “Although there is clearly a need for new housing in Royston, I am disappointed that a through road will not be put in place as I think this will lead to a greater risk of accicents and even more traffic. There is a need, especially for the young people in Royston, for more housing to be available but, without a through road, I find it difficult to support this plan.”