Report recommends homes plan near Therfield Heath is refused

PUBLISHED: 16:22 15 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:57 16 January 2019

The Gladman proposed development site from the southern end looking north towards Echo Hill in Royston. Picture: David Hatton

The Gladman proposed development site from the southern end looking north towards Echo Hill in Royston. Picture: David Hatton

Archant

Outline planning permission for up to 107 houses near Therfield Heath is to be considered by councillors on Wednesday.

Royston Says No to Gladman is continuing its campaign to stop a 120-home development from being granted permission. Picture: Royston Says No to GladmanRoyston Says No to Gladman is continuing its campaign to stop a 120-home development from being granted permission. Picture: Royston Says No to Gladman

The site, opposite Heath Farm in Briary Lane, falls outside existing development boundaries and those in the emerging North Herts Local Plan.

Objections have been received from 257 nearby residents – with just one writing in support.

Objectors have highlighted the negative impact the development would have on the heath, as well as the risk to the water supply and the impact on wildlife, including skylarks, hares, lizards and butterflies.

They also say the houses would generate extra traffic and that the infrastructure in the town could not accommodate the additional demand.

Royston Town Council has also raised concerns, pointing to access problems, the distance of the site from the town centre and the slope.

A meeting of North Herts District Council’s planning committee will decide whether the development – which would still need detailed planning permission – could go ahead, in principle.

The planning officer’s report to the committee will recommend that the proposal is refused.

In recommending refusal, the report points to the prominent position and the topography of the site, the lack of bus stops within 400 metres and absence of a legal undertaking to provide 40 per cent affordable housing.

It also says the development would “be in conflict with the development plan and policies in the emerging plan at a time when these must properly be afforded significant weight”.

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