It’s time to take a pause

PUBLISHED: 11:59 22 March 2007 | UPDATED: 15:03 12 May 2010

RESIDENTS fury over the Green Drift planning application was to be expected and will be repeated while developers seek to exploit the requirement that, as far as possible, 60 per cent of new dwellings should be built on brownfield land; land that has pre

RESIDENTS' fury over the Green Drift planning application was to be expected and will be repeated while developers seek to exploit the requirement that, as far as possible, 60 per cent of new dwellings should be built on brownfield land; land that has previously been developed.

However, the requirement is only 60 per cent; the other 40 per cent can be built on greenfield land.

Since the last Twigden homes were approved, all new developments in Royston have been on brownfield.

Surely it is time to pause and re-evaluate where development should now take place.

Royston has more than done its part in solving the housing problems of North Herts.

Any parent with children trying to buy their first home will appreciate that there is a shortage of homes at prices to meet a realistic budget.

While many of us can enjoy the comfort of the high value of our own homes, the young find a near impossible situation in finding a decent quality home suitable for raising a family, but are forced into cramped houses or small flats entirely unsuited for family life.

At the turn of the 20th century, due to the enlightened ideas of Ebenezer Howard, the world's first Garden City was built on greenfield land between Hitchin and Baldock; Letchworth Garden City was born.

One wonders what Ebenezer would have made of the plight of our young people and the housing problems they face at the beginning of the 21st century.

Would he have encouraged the destruction of our existing communities in our towns and villages by massive in-fill with cramped houses and inadequate flats, or would he have taken a more enlightened view and seen the benefits of building new communities?

As Royston is damaged by urban cramming, we don't have to look far to find the benefits that a new community can bring and at how limited its actual impact is on the area.

When Cambourne was proposed I considered it an awful concept; however, now it is a reality and becoming a thriving new community which, so I'm told, those who live there enjoy.

The housing quality is certainly better than most new developments in Royston and as new community facilities are built, young people growing up in Cambourne will be much better served than Royston's present and future generations.

Rather than damage an existing community, Cambourne allows its residents to build their own new community.

Is it not time to stop further in-fill developments in North Hertfordshire and press ahead with new greenfield developments?

Wouldn't it be better for the majority of our residents if North Herts District Council stopped the futile waste of time and expense fighting the development west of Stevenage, but worked with the developers to produce a new thriving community? A community in which our children may be able to afford to build a quality life for themselves and their families, thus saving our towns from further destruction.

Do we have councillors brave enough to make the necessary decisions?

Cllr ROD KENNEDY

Town Councillor,

Royston Heath Ward


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