Anger over new plans for housing in hamlet

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Concerns have been raised by residents and councillors after plans were submitted to increase the number of homes at a site in a hamlet near Ponteland.

Miller Homes has applied to demolish the existing bungalow and build 50 detached houses, a combination of four, five and six-bedroom properties, with associated infrastructure and landscape works on land north east of Green Rigg in Medburn.

Outline planning permission was granted for 18 dwellings on the western half of the site in September 2014.

The same consent was given for 15 homes on the eastern half of the site in June last year, with access to be gained immediately to the north of the Green Rigg property as granted under the 2014 proposals.

The recent bid for full planning permission seeks to consolidate the two outline consents into one detailed application.

The increase in the number of properties has come as a result of the proposal to demolish Green Rigg and its annexe, which the applicant says is preferred by Northumberland County Council through discussions of the previous applications to improve the proposed access.

Letters of objection were submitted in response to both outline bids and more than a dozen people are against this application.

In their response, Robert and Margaret Chaytor say: ‘There is no proven need for more executive housing. Presently, there are approximately eight houses for sale.

‘The proposal will increase flood risk. The existing drainage system is unable to cope during long periods of wet weather.

‘The proposed area is a wildlife haven. This environment should be protected against urban sprawl and the resulting light pollution, noise pollution and loss of hedgerows.’

Ponteland Town Council said it is disappointed and concerned at the proposed increase in the number of properties at the site.

Its response also includes the following: ‘The house style and road layout create a new estate format whose appearance is out of character with the rest of Medburn, which has an uneven pattern of residential development in the rural setting.

‘The proposed house heights are in excess of previous applications and conditions.

‘The construction of 50 more dwellings in addition to the recently approved construction of at least 23 new dwellings in Medburn would have an overwhelming and adverse impact on this small settlement and the C345, which is a narrow country lane and the only access road.’

The planning statement by Signet Planning on behalf of Miller Homes says the proposed increase in the number of homes ‘reflects the market needs’.

It also says: ‘Recent housing appeal decisions at Medburn have also supported the stance that the village is not a remote rural location, with cycle links and a bus service to the nearest Metro station.

‘Through the proposed demolition of Green Rigg and its annexe, the entrance offers the opportunity to provide a landscape buffer between the road and the properties either side of the access road, whilst still being able to widen the road from the original proposals.’