Residential Development for sale

Newmarket Road, Royston, Hertfordshire, SG8 7LU

26.7 ac. | POA

Property Description

Commercial information

  • 26.7 acres (10.8 hectares)

Full description

Tenure: Freehold

Royston - The Town

Royston is a popular and thriving market town with a population in excess of 16,000, situated on the North Hertfordshire-South Cambridgeshire border. It sits at the junction of the A10 which
provides for easy road access to Cambridge - approximately 14 miles to the north east and Stevenage approximately 19 miles to the south west and the A505 which provides access to the
M11 motorway to the east and the A1(M) to the south-west. The Town is also served by the mainline railway running between London (Kings Cross) and Cambridge.

Historically relying on farming and associated agricultural opportunities, the town now has a diverse employment base (including a major precious metal smelting business) to support
the growth in population which has followed recent expansion on the town's northern and western edges.

The town centre offers a range of shops, supermarkets community and education facilities including First and Middle Schools and the Meridian Upper School and Sixth Form College with the latter situated immediately adjacent the Site now offered for sale. The town lies on the northern slope of the Hertfordshire Chalk Downs evidenced by the large swath of open grassland on its southern approaches. The town also benefits from an expanding network of footways and cycle tracks linking the site to the local schools, town centre, sports centre, etc.

The Development Site

The Site is located on the north side of the Newmarket Road approximately 1.3 km east of the Town Centre with the Greenwich Meridian passing the site where the A505 bypass meets the original A505 alignment.

The curtilage of the Site is identified edged red on the Site Plan which forms part of these Particulars and extends in total to about 42 acres (17ha). However it should be noted that the
Site of the Transmitter Mast (see later) located in the south eastern corner of the Site amongst the trees is to be sold but offered separately to facilitate a sale off if it is not included in an acceptable Offer submitted for the development Site in its entirety.

This is a greenfield site the greater part of which has been in arable cultivation for many years and will remain so at least until completion of a sale. The remainder is occupied by a pocket of
mature woodland in the south eastern corner and extending along the Newmarket Road frontage.

The site falls in a north westerly direction from an elevation of approx. 100 m AOD down to approx. 60 m AOD. The Geological Survey Mapping and Infiltration Testing indicates chalk at a
depth of between 0.3 m and 0.4 m.

The site has a gated access onto Newmarket Road and a second gated vehicular access available directly from the A505. (nb. Applicants wishing to walk on the Site are recommended to use the Newmarket Road access where there is scope to park clear of the highway).

There are no public foothpaths or rights of way crossing the Site but it will be evident from inspection that there are well used informal walkers' tracks around all four boundaries which
connect the Site to Garden Walk and the Recreation Ground to the west.

Constraints

Two above ground electricity cables, supported by wooden pylons, cross the southern part of the Site in an east to west direction but mainly over the area of the Site lying above the 80m contour and designated and reserved as the Chalk Grassland and Woodland Community Open Space. Details of the Cable Wayleaves will be found in the Legal Pack.

Planning

The Planning Application Site is defined edged red on the Site Plan reproduced with these Particulars. It excludes edged blue,the site of the Transmitter Mast.

Outline planning permission has been granted for Residential Development and Community Open Space with new access onto the A505 (all matters landscaping, layout, access, scale,
appearance reserved) under LPA Reference 14/02485/1 dated November 2016, subject to the terms and conditions of the associated S106 Agreement. (Copies of the Consent and the
Agreement can be found in the Information Pack filed on Dropbox together with a copy of the application).

All of the negotiations with the NHDC Planning Authority have been against the background of restricting the siting of dwellings to the area below the 80m contour with the higher land being laid out and preserved for public use as Chalk Grassland and Woodland Community Open Space. The Masterplan reproduced with the Particulars illustrates compliance with these fundamental principles.

The planning application included a reference to a development for up to 330 dwellings and this was subsequently acknowledged in the Officer's Report to Committee. Whilst there is no reference to this number on the Consent, the fact the scale of the development is stated to remain a Reserved Matter, implies there remains scope for the detailed layout to accommodate a
greater number.

Pre-Commencement Conditions

6. Protection from Road Traffic Noise from A505 - Refer to the noise assessment by MAS Environmental dated 5th June 2014. Copy included in the Information Pack.

8. Construction of Access from A505 - Access to the site via a new roundabout to be constructed on the A505 in the position indicated on the Masterplan and in accordance with the design
principles identified, described and illustrated by AECOM in its Report - "Roundabout Junction Access Off A505 Bypass TN2" prepared 15th September 2015, has been approved by the
District and County Councils subject to the completion of the further steps recommended by the Consultant Engineers in "15. Conclusion and Recommendations" of their Report. It should
also be noted that during the informal discussions and email exchanges between the Consultants and Hiten Patel (Project Engineer, Development Management - Implementation, Environment Department) at the Hertfordshire County Council, Hiten indicated "there might be scope in considering a simple T-junction with some reduction on the A505 (depending on results of traffic studies)..." As this alternative junction design could have significant cost advantages it is something which it is expected applicants will want to investigate. (A copy of AECOM's Report is included in the Information Pack).

12. Ecological Survey Work - The submitted Ecological Appraisal dated May 2014 prepared by Green Environmental Consultants Ltd, reported that the surveys carried out at that time had
identified the presence of potential reptile habitat on the Site but the more recent surveys carried out in April and May this year found a single Common Lizard on three separate occasions in the same place, indicating a low population. However the location is outside of the Site and in the highway verge alongside the A505. Notwithstanding this, and the Consultant's conclusion the Site is less suitable for reptiles than previously thought due to shading of most of the potential good habitat, mitigation for reptiles will be required. However, as an area of the Site is proposed for a wildlife area it should not be necessary to translocate any reptiles found, to an alternative location. Copies of the May 2014 and September 2016 Survey Reports are included in the Information Pack but essentially it only remains for the detail of the mitigation strategy to be agreed in order to discharge this condition.

Emergency Exit (Planning Condition 11) - The approval of a scheme for controlling emergency vehicles and bus access onto Garden Walk is required prior to the first occupation. Enquiries
made to the Hertfordshire County Council have confirmed that the highway constructed up to the western boundary of the development Site at this point is an adapted public highway. (Refer to the copy email from the Land Charge Officer, Highway Boundaries and Land Charges at the HCC, dated 7th January 2014, and the Plan attached thereto included in the Information
Pack).

Archaeology - it will be noted that there is no condition on the Consent requiring an archaeological investigation. This is due to the fact an intrusive investigation has already been funded by and carried out on behalf of the Landowner to the complete satisfaction of the County Archaeologist.

S106 Agreement

Affordable Housing - The Agreement requires that at least 30% of the total number of Dwellings shall be Affordable Housing Units and unless otherwise agreed by the Council the tenure split shall be 65% Affordable and 35% Shared Ownership. (Refer to Schedule Two: Part 1 of the Agreement).

Community Open Space - The freehold interest in the area of the Site designated as Chalk Grassland and Woodland and identified on the Masterplan, is required to be transferred to the Council for 1.00 (One Pound) on terms which require the Council to restore it as chalk grassland and manage it thereafter to an appropriate standard to maintain its ecological value as chalk grassland and to covenant to use the area as open space for use by the public and for no other purpose. The transfer is to be completed, the Community Open Space Management Contribution (130,000) and the Community Open Space Contribution (66,500) paid prior to the occupation of any dwelling.

Leap - The Agreement requires the development to provide only one local equipped area of play supplemented by the payment of a Greenspace Contribution (90,000) to be applied towards
wheeled sports provision and improvements to the entrance, and play equipment at the Newmarket Road Recreation Ground. The contribution is payable 3 x 30,000 with the first prior to any occupation, and then prior to the 100th and 200th respectively.

Off Site Highway Improvements - The obligation to carry out improvements at the A505/A1198, the A505/A10 and the A10/Newmarket Road Junctions will be commuted by the payment of a Highway Contribution (50,000) payable prior to the occupation of the 100th Dwelling.

Newmarket Road Footway/Cycleway Scheme - This is a scheme for the provision of a footpath/cycleway link between the western boundary of the Site close to Newmarket Road and the public highway terminating in close proximity to the frontage of No. 86 Newmarket Road, over the Newmarket Road Recreation Ground and along the route and in accordance with the principles shown on Plan 3A. The roadway leading up to the western boundary of the Recreation Ground and serving No. 86 Newmarket Road and adjoining local authority housing, has been sold off/transferred with the housing and remains unadopted. However the Council has advised it reserved a Right of Access over the roadway to the boundary of the Recreation Ground and for the avoidance of doubt the wording in the S106 Agreement (cl. 4.3) has been expressly agreed to make clear the scheme is to be carried out on its (the Council's) land.

The requirement is for the Scheme to be submitted to and approved by the Council prior to the occupation of any dwelling and for the works to be completed prior to the 100th occupation. The Scheme has been designed by AECOM following discussion with the Service Manager - Grounds, at North Herts District Council. The detail and Plan 3A contained in the Technical Note
prepared by AECOM dated 22nd September 2015 are included in the Information Pack.

It should be noted that in the Design section of AECOM's Technical Note (4th paragraph), reference is made to the 1.0m verge being used to accommodate future underground utilities required for the development of the Site. It is anticipated this facility could be of particular benefit for the purpose of accommodating an extension of the water main which otherwise could involve a
much more expensive route via the Newmarket Road and the associated road traffic management issues. See below further comment under "Services".

Drainage

Surface Water - Condition 7 stipulates that development shall not begin until a detailed surface water drainage scheme for the Site, based on the agreed Flood Risk Assessment prepared
by MTC Engineering (dated August 2014 Ref: 1446) has been submitted and approved; the scheme shall be designed to include an infiltration system using soakaway and a swale as outlined in the FRA and it being demonstrated that the infiltration system will not pose a risk to groundwater quality. This latter requirement was referred back to MTC for comment and further advice which was given by Mike Brindley in his email dated 23rd June 2015. A copy of this together with the FRA are included in the Information Pack.

Foul Drainage - Anglian Water Services confirmed, via the consultation on the planning application - "there is capacity within the existing sewerage system for anticipated flows from
this development". This is stated in the Officer's Committee Report. In the company's Pre-Planning Assessment Report (dated 5th February 2014 Ref: 0601/SP107 (001) under "Foul
Sewerage Network", the preferred connection point is to a 225mm sewer at manhole 4301 in Garden Walk albeit as an alternative to upsizing the 150mm sewer from manhole 6402 to 4301. A copy of the Assessment Report is included in the Information Pack.

Services

Mains Water - The supply company - Affinity Water, provided by letter dated 4th September 2015, a budget estimate for extending the mains and laying on-site mains, including an approx. cost of reinforcing the Off-Site main. A copy of this letter is included in the Information Pack together with copies of emails to and from Affinity Water dated 4th and 6th September and 1st October which need to be read in conjunction with this letter. The error referred to was the difference between the original figure for Off-Site reinforcement of 981,500 and the corrected estimate of 179,550! The email dated 1st October 2015 indicates that it is expected the extension of the Water main will follow the route of the Newmarket Road Footway/Cycleway referred to above.

Other Mains Services - It is understood that mains, gas, electricity and BT/cable services are available in Garden Walk but applicants will be expected to make their own enquiries of the
supply companies and satisfy themselves as to the availability and adequacy of the existing services to serve the development of the Site.

Vacant Possession

The Site is currently cropped under a Farming Partnership but the Seller will be in a position to provide Vacant Possession on completion of the Transfer, with or without the benefit of a Licence granted by the Buyer permitting the removal of the harvest.

The Transmitter Mast

The Mast is currently the subject of a Lease to BT. Vehicular access to the Mast Site is via the existing gated access on the Newmarket Road and an unmade track through the Woodland
belt. The draft of the proposed Transfer of the Chalk Grassland and Woodland reserves this Access in accordance with the terms of the Rights granted to BT. The investment secured against the Site of the Mast is offered for sale but submitted Offers should state clearly if the Offer is for the development Site including the Transmitter Mast and if so, the separate value attributed to the Mast Investment. In the absence of this clarification it will be assumed the Offer is for the development Site excluding the Transmitter Mast. (A copy of the Lease and associated
documents are included in the Information Pack).

Information Pack

An Information Pack complete with the Legal Pack have been compiled and deposited on Dropbox. To access this, a link can be obtained from Barford + Co by telephoning 01480 213811 or email: amcglinchey@barfords.co.uk.

Offers Invited

The Site is being offered for sale with the benefit of the Outline Planning Permission. Offers conditional on Reserved Matters Approvals being obtained will not be considered. Substantial
Offers are now invited and interested parties are recommended to register an interest at an early stage.

More information from this agent

Nearest stations

  • Royston (0.6 mi)
  • Meldreth (3.1 mi)
  • Ashwell & Morden (4.2 mi)
Distances are straight line measurements from centre of postcode

To view this property or request more details, contact:

Barford & Co, St. Neots

17 Church Street, Eynesbury, St. Neots, PE19 2BU

01480 580070 Local call rate

How much will it cost me to call the number displayed on the site?

Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles apply and calls may be included in your telecom provider's call package.

Map & Street View

Nearest stations

  • Royston (0.6 mi)
  • Meldreth (3.1 mi)
  • Ashwell & Morden (4.2 mi)
Distances are straight line measurements from centre of postcode

To view this property or request more details, contact:

Barford & Co, St. Neots

17 Church Street, Eynesbury, St. Neots, PE19 2BU

01480 580070 Local call rate

How much will it cost me to call the number displayed on the site?

Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles apply and calls may be included in your telecom provider's call package.

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