Controversial garden gate gets the go-ahead

A bid to install a garden gate at Loansdean to improve disabled access to a parking area has been given the go-ahead.

The controversial application sought permission for a gate in the fence at Sycamore House, Loansdean Wood, to access the parking area on the north side of The Kylins.

At a meeting of Northumberland County Council’s North Area Planning Committee one of the residents of the property explained that the change was to allow her disabled sister-in-law to visit.

The house has one allocated parking space in the courtyard and she said there is not usually enough room to manoeuvre a wheelchair between vehicles.

However, the proposal had led to objections from Morpeth Town Council and a number of local residents as the development plan for the site had been drawn up in consultation with the community and one of the main concerns was that there should be no access from The Kylins.

Town councillor Stuart Lishman addressed the committee to speak against the plans, pointing out that the developer said there would be enough car parking space when the scheme for Loansdean Wood was originally submitted.

He also said that a condition was placed on the approval to prevent direct access onto The Kylins from the properties to ensure that the visitors’ parking area was not used full-time.

Members were sympathetic to the need for disabled access, but wanted to ensure that it did not stay if no longer necessary and that it did not set a precedent for other properties.

The committee approved the scheme, but delegated responsibility to the planning officers and solicitor to create a condition ensuring that the gate was removed by the applicant if it was no longer necessary or if they moved out.

After the meeting, Kylins resident Maureen Howes said: “We now know that in Morpeth even if we citizens use the democratic process relating to any objections raised against planning applications our voices will go unheeded.”