Decision for development off Letchworth country lane deferred

The Norton Action Group are concerned that the charm will be lost in Croft Lane and Cashio Lane. Pic

The Norton Action Group are concerned that the charm will be lost in Croft Lane and Cashio Lane - Credit: Archant

No decision has yet been taken on whether plans for a residential development in Letchworth can go ahead.

Draft proposals have been drawn-up for up to 42 new homes on land between Croft Lane and Cashio Lane - formerly the Norton School playing fields.

An application for outline planning permission was expected to have been determined at a meeting of North Hertfordshire District Council’s planning control committee on Monday, April 12.

But when a number of updates and changes to proposed conditions were presented to the meeting, councillors agreed that the decision be deferred.

Before proposing the deferral, Cllr Daniel Allen said: “With this level of change where we haven’t been able to review it, I don’t think we should be hearing this any further.”

All the plans submitted as part of the application are indicative – except for the means of access.

And even if the ‘outline’ permission had been granted,  the applicant would have needed more detailed ‘full’ planning permission for the appearance, scale, landscaping and layout.

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However, the ‘means of access’ via Croft Lane is ‘unreserved’ and would not require further consideration.

And it was noted by Cllr David Levett and others that a number of the proposed changes presented at the meeting related to access to the site, which would not be subject to a later application for full planning permission.

According to the officer’s report  there have been 129 objections from residents – although this number, it says,  may include ‘repeat  representors’.

Following the meeting, a spokesman for Norton Action Group - which has been campaigning against the plans for a number of years, said: "The planning officer submitted a 13-page document listing amendments, following NAGs submissions to all attendees and officials.

"Additionally HCC's commitment to supply unredacted documents five days before the meeting was not met.

"The meeting was deferred, thus denying our professional Transport Assessment presentation.

"We feel HCC are playing games to thwart our submissions and making amendments on discovery of our pre-meeting submissions. We are questioning the legality of their actions."

Outline planning permission for a separate application on the field - for up to 45 homes - was granted by the planning committee last month. 

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