Flooding fears over extension to village house

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Councillors voted to approve an extension to a property in Hepscott despite major fears over flooding.

At a meeting of Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee, members reluctantly gave the green light to a two-storey extension at 9 Crofts Park.

Coun Philip Ashmore, chairman of Hepscott Parish Council, raised serious concerns about the risk in an area which has flooded seriously twice since 2008.

“It’s where the Hepscott Burn enters the village,” he said. “You block that and it makes it worse for everyone else.” He also said that he was very concerned that the Environment Agency (EA) had not been consulted.

However, planning officers explained that the flood expert had no concerns over the extension and that the EA was only usually consulted on larger schemes.

There is development ongoing to a walled-in patio area, which may be more of a flood risk as it is closer to the burn, but due to its size, no planning permission is needed.

Coun Ashmore also spoke against plans to demolish the existing house and construct a new dwelling with detached garage at 3 Field House Close in the village.

An earlier proposal for the site had been turned down and went to appeal, which was rejected, but planning officers considered that this new application addressed the previous issues .

The new proposal would have a ridge height only slightly larger than the existing property, although the footprint would be twice as large.

A nearby resident said the new property would be a ‘gross overdevelopment’, but Nicola Allen, on behalf of the applicant, pointed out that it would only cover 20 per cent of the plot. While planners said there was a mix of housing types in the area, objectors claimed it was primarily bungalows.

Members voted against the plans due to ‘inappropriate impact on the street scene’.