Approval number 3 for home

Coun Andrew Tebbutt

Coun Andrew Tebbutt

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An objector has warned that Northumberland County Council is ‘perilously close’ to a third judicial review as a bid for a new home in Tranwell Woods was approved again.

An outline application for a two-storey, five-bedroom detached house on land west of Bramblings went before the council’s strategic planning committee.

But it was not the first time that this scheme has been before the planners or the councillors.

A similar scheme was refused in February 2014, before this current application was approved twice only to be quashed following judicial reviews in March and December 2015.

Objector Dr David Tate’s basic premise is that Tranwell Woods is not a village and therefore the proposed home cannot be considered in-fill, meaning this is inappropriate development in the green belt.

“I’m not here to waste your money, I’m here to save you money, but so far you have wasted £10,000 in costs alone,” he said.

But applicant Susan Leffers-Smith said Dr Tate’s technical challenges simply ‘seek to frustrate the planning process’, while her brother said: “Planning policies have changed over the years and this application is a perfectly compliant and reasonable proposal.”

Coun Andrew Tebbutt had sympathy for Dr Tate’s argument, pointing out that the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan (MNP) names four villages, but Tranwell Woods is not one of them.

However, the other committee members accepted the planning officer’s advice that neither the NPPF nor the MNP defines what a village is.