A housing developer’s bids for more than 200 homes in two Northumberland villages were back before councillors this week.
Grainger plc’s outline schemes for Hadston and Widdrington Station were both unanimously approved at the August 2016 meeting of the county council’s strategic planning committee.
The Hadston bid, described as Park View phase three, is for up to 90 homes on land close to the A1068, opposite Druridge Bay Country Park, while at Widdrington Station, the company is proposing to build 121 homes on greenfield land west of Grange Road and south of Grangemoor Road.
The applications were back at Tuesday’s meeting as there is now a five-year housing land supply in that delivery area, which wasn’t the case last August, but they were both recommended for approval once again and unanimously granted permission.
Put more simply, it was a technicality as the goalposts had moved since last August, but the major reasons for giving the go-ahead to both plans had not.
Coun Andrew Tebbutt did say that he was disappointed that the schemes were still in outline, despite now being six months down the road.
In Hadston, a previous planning permission was granted in 2009 for 86 homes on the site, but this has since expired.
The new permission is subject to a section 106 legal agreement for Grainger to provide six two-bedroom bungalows for affordable, social rent on the site and a £60,000 contribution towards the provision of four off-site discount market value (DMV) homes.
As well as these affordable homes, the developer will have to contribute £85,000 for a pedestrian crossing on the busy A1068 and a further £20,000 for improvements to dog-walking routes and facilities in Druridge Bay Country Park, which is just across the road from the site.
There were only two objections from neighbouring residents and no one spoke against the plans at the meeting in August or this week.
At the first meeting, committee chairman, Coun Paul Kelly, had asked about the impact of noise from the A1068 on the proposed homes. The council’s public protection officer explained that the plans included proposals for a two-metre acoustic barrier on the eastern side of the site, which should keep daytime noise below the guidance levels.
He said he was more concerned about night-time noise and that during the discussions for the reserved matters application, when the details of the layout of the site are decided, it may be that some of the properties would need to be orientated so the master bedrooms are facing away from the road.
The Widdrington Station scheme would include two, three and four-bedroom properties and the buildings would be a mixture of terraced, semi-detached, detached and bungalows.
Grainger will be obliged to provide a 20-space overspill car park adjacent to the site entrance, to be transferred to the parish council, and a contribution of £70,000 for an extension to the village community centre as well as the land for this expansion.
Also, eight two-bedroom bungalows and four one-bedroom apartments for affordable, social rent will be built on site as well as a £90,000 contribution towards six off-site DMV homes.