Territorial ambitions of councillors revealed

PUBLISHED: 09:57 19 May 2012

A PLANNING quirk this week revealed the "territorial ambitions" of councillors as they backed plans for a 70-room budget hotel.

The planning committee of Royston Town Council supported the proposal to demolish a derelict pub on the A505 and the construction of an Ibis hotel in its place.

Councillors wished the application “every success” as the Horse and Groom has sat empty for more than six years and is a landmark site when travelling from Baldock to the town, but as it is technically in South Cambs the body’s opinion carries no weight.

Councillor F John Smith said: “It seems to me something that is this close to the A505 has more relevance to North Hertfordshire than to South Cambridgeshire.

“Having territorial ambitions I think we should investigate at the first opportunity that any land south of the railway should be transferred from Cambridgeshire to Hertfordshire.”

Royston Town Council has supported planning applications for the vacant pub several times with South Cambs rejecting plans in 2006 and 2007 to develop it into a hotel.

Cllr Smith believed the latest design would “be a benefit to the town and Hertfordshire as a whole”.

He added: “I almost feel like giving South Cambs notice that we want the land transferred to Hertfordshire”.

If the town council is serious about the land being redesignated the first step would be for it to contact the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

Travellers had moved onto the site a number of weeks ago but have now left.

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