Scheme deferred for more details on the financial case

An application to build executive homes at Burgham Park was deferred so councillors could be provided with more information on the financial case.

This was because the bid to build 14 detached homes on land next to Burgham Park Golf and Leisure Club, near Felton, would not usually be permitted in an area of open countryside, but it was put forward as an enabling development for the wider unfinished scheme of holiday lodges, known as Northumbrian Hills, as well as a new clubhouse and golf academy.

The permission would have been subject to the completion of an agreement to secure all proceeds from the sale/development of the land being invested into that development, but members of the north area planning committee wanted to see more details.

In particular, there were concerns that the existing properties at Burgham Park – whose residents were objecting to these new proposals – were built as an enabling development for the golf course.

Coun Andrew Tebbutt said: “I totally accept that Burgham Park is a fantastic opportunity. I’m concerned for the existing residents, however, who have bought properties believing they would be one thing and now find out they are another.

“I have been around long enough and I’m cynical enough to know that high finance can go wrong. I’m really not convinced that allowing development in the countryside is the right thing to do.”

Coun John Woodman initially proposed approval, saying: “It’s not obvious to me that that the site is open countryside, it’s a development and this would be part of it.”

However, when deferral was proposed, it was supported unanimously.