Big blow for opponents of hamlet housing bid

Councillors will be asked to approve a controversial application to build almost three dozen new homes in a small area to the south of Morpeth.

Broadlie Developments, in conjunction with IDpartnership and RWO Associates, is proposing 35 two-storey executive properties for land at the Clifton Caravan Centre, off Great North Road.

Residents living nearby have raised concerns, they claim that such an estate would increase the size of Clifton by 212 per cent, and three local authorities have lodged objections.

But the bid has been given the green light by Northumberland County Council planning officers and their recommendation to the north area planning committee, which meets in Alnwick on Thursday, January 8, is to grant permission subject to the completion of a Section 106 agreement to secure affordable housing contributions.

Case officer Tony Carter’s report says: “As a starting point, the proposed residential development would constitute inappropriate development in the open countryside.

“However, the council is not currently able to demonstrate a deliverable five-year supply of housing land for the area within which the site is located or for the county as a whole.

“The proposed development would make a contribution to addressing this shortfall and this, coupled with the fact that the land is previously developed and is in a sustainable location, represents a significant consideration weighing heavily in favour of allowing this development to proceed.”

He added that it would not have an adverse impact on any of the neighbouring properties due to the nature of the site and the relationship/distance of the dwellings and its neighbouring properties.

The application site is located within the parishes of Stannington and Hepscott and the parish councils for these villages are against the plans, as is Morpeth Town Council.

Objections from residents include the view that Clifton does not have a requirement for executive housing, the scheme has no economic benefit and a development of this scale would be damaging to the local environment.

The applicants state that the estate would create efficient houses, ranging from three to five bedrooms, attractive streets and a strong sense of community, while delivering investment and community benefits.