Green light for homes plan

PLANS to build three new Hepscott homes on a plot currently containing one have been given the go-ahead.

The scheme for houses and garages at Fir Tree Copse was opposed by the parish council and residents.

At a meeting of Northumberland County Council’s North Area Planning Committee last Thursday, Hepscott parish councillor John Lewis spoke of the potential effect on surrounding trees, some of which are under preservation orders, and wildlife, and the fact that one of the proposed properties falls outside the settlement boundary.

“It would be over-development and garden grabbing,” he said.

“A huge part of the site is covered by Tree Preservation Orders and the woodland is visible from the village road.

“These trees make a great contribution to the amenity, character and appearance of the village.”

But Simon Beeby, for the applicant, said that the majority of the trees to be removed are coming out in any event under already approved plans.

He said an effective tree management plan would be put in place for the remaining trees, ensuring they will be better looked after than they are now.

Coun Dougie Watkin said: “I don’t think it will set a precedent in relation to possible future development outside the existing settlement boundaries.

“I’m impressed that a proper tree management plan will actually protect trees and the wildlife which is claimed to be in that area.”

Coun Trevor Thorne added: “I do feel this scheme will enhance the village.”