Family’s fury at extension snub – but windfarm is OK

A FAMILY living in a rural Northumberland village are up in arms that they are not allowed to extend their home despite a windfarm being allowed nearby.

Clint and Jackie Phillips, who have two young sons, have twice applied for a rear extension with dormer to be added to give them more space upstairs, but both bids have been rejected by Northumberland County Council.

Last month, the same authority approved Infinis’ bid for six 110m-high wind turbines about a mile from their house in Wingates.

Mrs Phillips said: “We are extremely angry that we can’t get a small extension to our home, but the planners will allow huge turbines to be erected close to where we live.

“Even though no one objected to our plans, they came up with reasons like it would set a precedent and walkers would not like it, which are a load of nonsense.

“Other properties in Wingates have been granted extensions over the last few years, one has even doubled in size.

“We will try again for planning permission, but if we can’t get it we will reluctantly have to leave because the house is now too small for our family as we have two growing boys who have to share a room at the moment.”

The first application to extend their terraced cottage was made two years ago.

The county council refused it, claiming the development would be ‘incongruous with the character of the property’ given its size and massing and would set a ‘detrimental precedent’ for similar extensions in the area.

The family resubmitted it with minor alterations, but it was still deemed too large.

Officers also claimed the materials proposed would be incongruous with the dwelling.

A spokesman for the authority said: “The two applications were considered in two very different policy contexts.

“The residential development was determined against national and local planning policy with an emphasis on high quality design in keeping with the surroundings and its impact on the local street scene and neighbouring properties.

“The wind turbine application was considered against national and local planning policy and the Government’s agenda to encourage green renewable energy developments in the right locations.”