Warehouse proposal overturned in appeal

PUBLISHED: 11:53 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 14:40 12 May 2010

A PROPOSAL for a massive warehouse development in Royston has been turned down. The plan was rejected by members of North Herts District Council s licensing and appeals committee – despite being given the go-ahead by councillors on the Royston area commit

A PROPOSAL for a massive warehouse development in Royston has been turned down.

The plan was rejected by members of North Herts District Council's licensing and appeals committee - despite being given the go-ahead by councillors on the Royston area committee.

They had approved the scheme from John Dickinson to build a 16,000 sq metre stationery warehouse on a site at Greenfields outside the Royston development limits.

The issue had to be decided at the appeal hearing because the decision went against the planning policy of the district council.

Cllr Bill Davidson, chairman of the Royston area committee, told the meeting that his committee had approved the scheme because it would see more employment in Royston.

He said, too, that it seemed inevitable that the site would eventually be allocated for industrial development once the district council had decided on its Local Development Framework.

Stacey Rawlings, representing John Dickinson's, said there was a lack of an alternative, viable site in the area.

She said she was aware that the district council was working on its planning framework, but the company was in need of a site now.

Ms Rawlings continued that the company had explored alternative sites but the one in Greenfields had been identified as the best due to its location and the amount of land available.

But in a report to the committee, planning officer Simon Ellis had condemned the proposal and described it as a "major departure" from the council's development plan.

He said the planned warehouse would have "a significant visual impact" on the area.

Mr Ellis continued: "It is considered that if this application be granted it would significantly prejudice the policies and proposals of the development plan and the emerging Local Development Framework."

- The committee also rejected a plan for a day care nursery on a site at Picknage Corner, Barley.

Cllr Howard Marshall told members, however, that he believed the proposal was "sympathetic" to rural design and would be a more attractive development than the existing building on the site that was in a "dreadful condition".

Jeremy Carlise, chairman of Barley Parish Council, said he believed that most of the children who attended the nursery were not from the village and he suggested that it should be located elsewhere.

Mr Ellis said the scheme would see "an encroachment" into the undeveloped countryside. He said the development would create an "urbanising effect" which was detrimental to the character of the area.

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