Additional housing plans anger residents

Residents and councillors during the site visit for Mr Stephenson's first bid.
Residents and councillors during the site visit for Mr Stephenson's first bid.

More homes are being proposed for an area to the west of Morpeth town centre.

Objections have already been lodged by a number of residents for Les Stephenson’s application to build a minimum of six and a maximum of eight dwellings on land north of Emily Davison Avenue, which is in Kirkhill.

This bid is in addition to his plans submitted months ago for four executive homes at a site south east of Newminster Abbey House. Each one would take up a minimum of 4500 sq ft.

Mr Stephenson says the applications, both of which are outline, would ‘enhance and contribute to the character of this locale’, but people living in the Avenue and nearby streets are strongly against them.

In relation to his first bid (four executive homes), a petition was raised opposing it on the grounds of danger to pedestrians, destruction of a wildlife corridor and blighting of the Wansbeck Valley sky-line.

Northumberland County Council officers received the petition, which had more than 200 signatories, last month.

Those who have objected to the new proposal include Blagdon Close resident Duncan McDonald.

In his submission, he says: ‘The road leading to the proposed access is narrow and unsuitable for construction traffic.

‘Why should the residents of Emily Davison Avenue and surrounding streets, who currently enjoy a peaceful existence, be subject to the noise, disruption and pollution a building site and its traffic creates?

‘The roads in and around Emily Davison Avenue are populated by families with young children, so any increase in traffic – either temporary or permanent – will be a source of danger to these young people.’

Ogle Avenue resident Wiiliam Kearney’s response includes the following: ‘The land in question in this application has been a wildlife corridor for many years and once destroyed, will never be recovered.’

Morpeth Town Council says the development is outside the settlement boundaries of the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan and so the land should be treated as open countryside.

If approved, each of the six to eight homes would have a minimum footprint of 120 sq m and a maximum footprint of 250 sq m.

The dwellings would be no lower than 7.5m and no taller than 10.0m in height.

In the design and access statement, Mr Stephenson said: ‘It would be submitted that the construction of four dwellings on land south east of Newminster Abbey House and up to eight dwellings on this application site would not significantly or demonstrably intensify or worsen matters pertaining to access or use of the shared surface on Emily Davison Avenue.

‘However, if the highways officer is minded only to support a total of ten dwellings utilising this access as originally indicated, a condition can be imposed accordingly.

‘The development will embrace habitats currently on site, fully protecting these in most instances, and introduce new habitats to create a broader biodiversity for this site.’