Residents’ fears over homes bid

More than 40 people have raised concerns about plans to develop a huge garden into four executive homes at a site in Morpeth despite the access arrangements being changed.

The outline application by Les Stephenson on land south east of Newminster Abbey House is for detached dwellings and each one would take up a minimum of 4500 sq ft.

The new access in the proposal is taken from Emily Davison Avenue, as opposed to a driveway that links to the Lowford Bridge in the original bid, but a number of residents believe that this route will cause problems.

One of the objectors, Eric Williams, said: “There is no public footpath on the access route and children play on the road up through Emily Davison Avenue, which is a road not suitable for large and heavy traffic.

“It will create passing problems and possible damage to adjacent lawns and gardens.

“The road surface is prone to damage as it was not designed for heavy usage. It has speedbumps and an easily damaged surface.”

Morpeth and District Civic Society raised similar concerns about the access in its objection and it believes that the site is not a sustainable location for housing as ‘it is not on a bus route nor are there any nearby facilities’.

It also states that the new road would cross a piece of land which is home to a variety of wildlife and local resident Anne Straker speaks in her objection of her fears about the impact on animals in the area.

She said: “The land is currently used as an important wildlife corridor between the Mitford Woods and the River Wansbeck.

“My garden is constantly visited by badgers, foxes, rabbits, hedgehogs, birds and, until recently, red squirrels. Any further development of this area would be bound to have a detrimental effect on them.”

In Mr Stephenson’s planning statement, he says the scheme has a commitment to creating ‘a development that enhances and contributes to the character of this locale’ and ‘new sustainable urban drainage systems assisting with enhanced wildlife movement across the site’.

The majority of the planting and vegetation on all of the boundaries would be retained and in his amendment document, he says that he will carry out additional ecological and wildlife surveys or works if required.