A bid for dozens of homes in a hamlet near Ponteland was approved by a majority vote on Monday, despite more than 30 objections.
Also during the discussion for the application by Bellway Homes North East for 62 new residential properties at a site in Medburn, including associated access, infrastructure and open space, the Northumberland County Council planning officers present stated the local authority’s current position on housing supply following a planning inspector’s report in relation to a housing appeal in New Hartley.
Despite Kenneth Stone’s comments about the core strategy withdrawal playing a key role in him giving the scheme the green light, the council believes it can demonstrate a five-year housing supply and as legal advice is being taken, this will be its position until the legal process has been concluded.
The homes in Medburn will be a mixture of four and five-bedroom properties. The site is situated to the south of The Avenue and the west section is bound by The Nursery cul-de-sac, which also share the access point from the C345.
At the meeting of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council, Margaret Chaytor spoke against the bid on behalf of the residents of Ash Grove, Windy Ridge and Medburn Lodge.
She said they live in homes that are one-and-a-half storeys high and they will be surrounded by seven houses that will be two-and-a-half storeys high.
“Development in Medburn over the past three years has been haphazard and thoughtless, causing distress to all residents, particularly those living along The Avenue,” she added.
“The scale of this proposed development is neither sensitive nor desirable – it will destroy the character of the area and exacerbate the serious safety issues regarding the access road.
“There is already a healthy supply of housing in the area.”
These comments were supported by Coun Sue Johnson, speaking on behalf of Ponteland Town Council, who also said the homes would have a “detrimental impact on the agricultural and rural landscape”.
Martyn Earle, speaking on behalf of Bellway, said the application should be approved as all the necessary amendments had been made to satisfy the planning issues raised by officers.
The scheme would provide “economic, environmental and social benefits”, including a £13million boost to the local economy when taking into account factors such as jobs provided for the construction of the scheme and the local area spend of future residents.
During the debate, Coun Veronica Jones said the plan was ‘out of keeping’ with the rest of Medburn.
Coun Richard Dodd said there was not enough in his opinion to go against the officer recommendation to approve the bid, but with other Medburn applications in the pipeline, “something must be done about the terrible state of the road along The Avenue”.
The vote was four in favour, two against and one abstention.