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Bishop’s Stortford councillor Diane Hollebon ‘calls in’ Thorley housing plan over road safety concerns





East Herts Council is set to approve plans for nine new homes at Thorley Street – despite objections from the ward member and the parish council.

While planning officers have recommended the project should be permitted, Cllr Diane Hollebon (Con, Bishop’s Stortford South) has intervened to “call in” the application. That means it will be scrutinised by the authority’s development management committee on Wednesday (April 10).

Cllr Hollebon objects to the scheme because the proposed site entrance is straight onto Whittington Way, which she says is unsafe, with poor visibility of traffic coming from London Road and Thorley Street.

Objector Cllr Diane Hollebon (Con, Bishop’s Stortford South) has ‘called in’ the application
Objector Cllr Diane Hollebon (Con, Bishop’s Stortford South) has ‘called in’ the application

She said: “Drivers exiting this development would have to sit in the middle of the road at peak times, which could be extremely dangerous.”

Her highway objections are shared by the parish council and Bishop’s Stortford Civic Federation, which are also concerned about the provision of affordable housing.

The scheme proposes nine homes – three three-bed properties, two four-beds and four five-bed detached dwellings – with a combined internal floorspace of 1,858 sq m (20,000 sq ft), so to comply with East Herts Council rules, it should deliver three properties for shared ownership or rent.

Site plan for nine homes at Thorley House, Thorley Street
Site plan for nine homes at Thorley House, Thorley Street

The applicant, SJT Developments Ltd, argues that the project will not be viable if such a condition is imposed and has offered £100,000 towards provision elsewhere in East Herts.

A report to the committee explains: “Given this is a small development, and the viability position… this is viewed as a reasonable offer, particularly taking into account the difficulties in the housing market at present.

“In line with the advice from the housing officer, this contribution would be put towards the provision of affordable housing in the district and will be secured by way of a Section 106 obligation.”

Both the parish council and the civic federation want that money spent locally and the former has told EHC it will continue to object to the scheme without that assurance.

Impression of new homes planned on land at Thorley House, Thorley Street
Impression of new homes planned on land at Thorley House, Thorley Street

The nine homes would have solar panels, air source heat pumps and electric vehicle (EV) chargers. In addition, rainwater will be collected for garden use.

*To see planning applications and other public notices for your area, visit publicnoticeportal.uk.



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