Therfield Heath residents say barbed wire fence makes lockdown ‘feel like a prison camp’

PUBLISHED: 09:56 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:56 29 April 2020

A barbed wire fence has been erected alongside the proposed Gladman development in Royston. Picture: Kevin Binks

A barbed wire fence has been erected alongside the proposed Gladman development in Royston. Picture: Kevin Binks

Archant

Royston campaigners protesting a plan to build 99 homes near Therfield Heath are dismayed after a barbed wire fence was erected across the site.

A barbed wire fence has been erected alongside the proposed Gladman development in Royston. Picture: Kevin BinksA barbed wire fence has been erected alongside the proposed Gladman development in Royston. Picture: Kevin Binks

Housing developer Gladman submitted an application to build on land south of Echo Hill in Royston, but North Herts District Council requested an extension in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month work commenced on a barbed wire fence along the perimeter of a field which backs onto the gardens of residents living in Echo Hill and Layston Park, which residents described as making an “already stressful lockdown feel like a prison camp”.

A spokesperson from campaign group Royston Says No To Gladman said: “We are pleased that NHDC has now extended the consultation period. However to have a barbed wire fence erected with absolutely no notice at a time when so many people are literally feeling fenced in due to this pandemic is at best cruel and at worst an attempt to harass and intimidate those whose gardens back onto this land.

“It is so sad that at a time when we have seen the absolute best in people – particularly those working on the frontline during this pandemic, some of whom live in Echo Hill – that we are still seeing a small minority displaying the worst too.”

A barbed wire fence has been erected alongside the proposed Gladman development in Royston. Picture: Kevin BinksA barbed wire fence has been erected alongside the proposed Gladman development in Royston. Picture: Kevin Binks

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Echo Hill will be the access point for Gladman’s development if planning permission is granted.

Resident David Bubbins said: “I was disturbed by the noise in the field at the end of my garden and went out as I was concerned as to what may be happening to trees and wildlife; I have a real worry that wildlife will be dispersed in order to try and get this development approved.

“I worry about families with young children in case any of them injure themselves, and pets and other wildlife.

A barbed wire fence has been erected alongside the proposed Gladman development in Royston. Picture: Kevin BinksA barbed wire fence has been erected alongside the proposed Gladman development in Royston. Picture: Kevin Binks

“The contractors said the works were being done as people where roaming the farmer’s land during this lockdown; I wonder if this is more about decreasing the amount of protected species 
in this area that will be problematic for the Gladman development.”

Another Echo Hill resident said they were afraid their young children would be injured on the fence – which backs onto their garden.

Gladman was approached for comment, but had not replied at the time of going to press.


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