Locals in uproar over new housing proposal

Cookswell House, High Onstead, Pegswood,'REF 0209136655
Cookswell House, High Onstead, Pegswood,'REF 0209136655

PLANS for new housing in a Northumberland village have caused consternation among local residents.

The application by Mr M Robertson involves the building of 10 new properties and the sub-division of the historic Cookswell House into three separate dwellings.

Proposed works also include the demolition of the existing stable building, creation of a new highway access and block of four double garages and removal of six trees.

The 0.5-hectares site sits at the very west edge of the village and Cookswell House has functioned as a single dwelling for many years.

The applicant argues that each part of the development is acceptable in the context of its surroundings, but people living near the site are unhappy and they will be objecting to the proposal.

One such resident, Jonathan Lake, said: “We are in uproar about the scale of these plans.

“It’s certainly overdevelopment, there will be a loss of privacy and we have a number of road-safety concerns.

“I will arrange an appointment with a planning officer to hand over the objection letters as this will demonstrate how local residents feel about the matter.

“I have also checked with an office in Durham and there is a covenant on part of the land which says it can only be used for horse grazing.”

He added that other issues raised by residents include a potential increased risk of flooding and an increase in noise and disturbance.

Under the proposals, as well as the sub-division of the Grade II-listed building – which was originally built as three separate dwellings – three two-storey detached homes would be constructed on the western element of the site, three pairs of detached bungalows would be developed on the eastern section of the site and there would also be one further new build to the south of Cookswell House.

In the design and access statement, the applicant’s agent Robin Wood said: “Although the site is a greenfield one, this is not prejudicial to the acceptability of development on the site on the basis that a sequential approach to development within a sustainable settlement is no longer a pre-requisite to a scheme being acceptable under the National Planning Policy Framework. Not withstanding this, it has been demonstrated that there is no other available previously developed land which could accommodate this development, which is likely to become available in the near future.

“The entrance location to the new highway access is located within the defined 30mph limit zone and has good visibility in both an east and west direction.

“The scale and mass of the proposed detached dwellings in conjunction with their siting and the separation distance from existing dwellings also ensures that there are no issues of over-dominance or overbearing scale of development.”