It was reasonable’ for council to allow scheme

PUBLISHED: 10:34 01 March 2007 | UPDATED: 15:01 12 May 2010

YOUR correspondent Mr Hickman and the other objectors to the Johnson Matthey extension appear not to have read my original response properly. I said that we advertised the development on site, in The Crow, and to neighbouring residents. I need to explai

YOUR correspondent Mr Hickman and the other objectors to the Johnson Matthey extension appear not to have read my original response properly.

I said that we advertised the development on site, in The Crow, and to neighbouring residents.

I need to explain that "neighbouring" means those houses backing on to the site, the even numbers in Orchard Way.

These were entitled to receive a letter from us notifying of the proposal. We did not send letters wider, for example into Rock Road.

However, what I said in my first letter to you, but which unfortunately you edited out, is that only one of the residents we did consult raised any query and that was over flooding issues.

So if those most affected by the development raised no objection, it was reasonable of North Herts District Council to allow development.

This council receives many controversial planning applications and we are quite used to our meetings being packed with concerned residents when a decision is due on a difficult one. However, this was not one of them.

Let me assure all your readers that representations to this authority on planning matters are always given due consideration.

Whether representations are received or not, planning officers do rigorously apply the tests of policy and planning law to all applications and refuse, or grant purely on those criteria in all cases.

Clearly, had any correspondence been received in this matter, those observations would have been put to the same tests and arguments based on planning policy given weight.

Councillor RICHARD THAKE

Portfolio holder,

Planning and Transport

I WOULD like to include my comments concerning Councillor Richard Thake and the Johnson Matthey building currently being constructed.

It strikes me that there may have been a planning mistake by allowing the consent of the Johnson Matthey building, which now totally overshadows Rock Road, Royston.

As you walk along Rock Road, the building towers above the houses at the end of the road. It looks like the building is in the gardens of these houses.

Cll Thake stated that he was "glad" to have passed this building. I recommend he takes a walk along Rock Road and Weston Avenue and see for himself the results of the planning process.

I don't believe the visual impact was ever assessed or communicated to anyone.

This probably ranks as one of the worse planning decisions affecting Royston for a long while. What makes it worse is that Cllr Thake seems proud of it.

Maybe after his walk he might reconsider his ill-considered comments.

ALEX GARDINER

Weston Avenue, Royston


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