Homes bid refused again

PLANS for a set of executive homes in a hamlet near Ponteland have been rejected by a planning committee for the second time in seven months.

The outline bid by two businessmen for a site at Medburn is being opposed by local residents, who are against homes being built on greenfield land and believe they would be unsustainable because the area does not have any services or community facilities.

It was rejected on a majority vote last September by the county council’s west area planning committee, but it was re-submitted following the appeal decision by planning inspector Chris Checkley to overturn a decision by the committee to refuse permission for five homes in another part of Medburn.

However, Ponteland Town Council pointed out one of Mr Checkley’s comments, which said the approval should not be seen as a precedent for future development in the area.

And the west area committee did not change its mind when the almost-identical application came before it last week, as members gave the same reasons for refusal.

They said the site, located in a field east of The Nursery, is in a zone which is only appropriate for infill schemes on previously developed land, and agreed with residents that it is not in a sustainable area for new housing estates.

The applicants have already submitted an appeal against September’s decision to the Planning Inspectorate.

Ponteland Town Council’s planning committee chairman David Butler said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the committee members stuck to their guns and refused the application again.

“I would be hopeful that it will be rejected at the planning appeal or inquiry by an inspector once he or she has heard all the evidence.”