Trust’s home building plan is approved

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Outline plans have been approved to build 77 homes on the edge of Stannington.

Northumberland County Council’s North Area Planning Committee gave its unanimous backing to the application by Netherton Park Trustees.

The site at Netherton Park is a mix of brownfield and greenfield land in a proposed Greenbelt extension area. However, planning officers said that as the precise boundaries of the Greenbelt have not been defined, related policies do not apply, and the area is an established settlement.

Initially, the plan was for 85 homes, but it was amended following consultation.

A total of 39 letters of support were submitted, along with two letters of objection.

Opponents raised concerns about loss of privacy, overlooking, access and the impact on ecology and amenity, while supporters welcomed proposed green space, footpaths, road widening and flood risk mitigation.

Stannington Parish Council initially objected, but in a late representation called instead for traffic calming measures, a liaison group and a community fund to be included.

However, Public Protection officers maintained an objection that noise from the East Coast Mainline had not been addressed, saying some new properties would not be able to open their windows.

Councillors approved the application, subject to addressing the noise concerns.

Planning consultant Emma Walker, on behalf of the applicant, said: “The applicant in this case is a charitable trust with an objective to support groups of young people at risk. Income that flows from the development would allow trustees to increase investment in young people in Northumberland.”