Housing estate given green light despite concerns

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Plans for 89 new homes on the Hepscott Park site at Stannington were given the go-ahead this week, despite local objections.

The scheme, which will also see the buildings on the site which were previously used by the county council demolished, received unanimous approval at Tuesday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee.

The properties would be four-bedroom detached family homes, predominantly two storeys, but with two two-and-a-half-storey properties located centrally within the site.

According to the planning officer’s report, the layout of the housing has been intended to respond to the context of the existing residential properties on Park Drive, which predominantly comprise of large detached properties.

However, Coun Karen Carins, the chairman of Stannington Parish Council, spoke at the meeting to outline their concerns, which include that the development is not in keeping with the area, the impact on Stannington’s Station Road and the additional pressure on the village’s first school.

She said that while they understood homes would be built there, these proposals were a ‘gross over-development’ of the site.

Fears about pressures on the wider education system in the area were also highlighted by Morpeth Town Council and the report stated that ‘officers consider that these proposals could either individually or cumulatively, with other forthcoming development, put pressure on school capacity in the future’.

The development will be subject to a section 106 legal agreement, which was already to include a £585,000.00 towards an off-site affordable housing contribution.

On top of this, the planning officers have now also negotiated a contribution of almost £600,000 for the education department.