Farm worker’s home approved

PLANS for a temporary agricultural worker’s dwelling on a farm near Stannington in the green belt have been approved, despite a number of objections.

At last Thursday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee, members gave the green light to the scheme at West Duddo Farm. One of the objections made by local residents was that it would represent inappropriate development in the green belt, although the planning officers felt that the agricultural need for the building was clear.

At the meeting, objector Mark Huxtable said: “It’s green belt, and once an application has been granted the chances of it going back to green belt are very, very slim.”

Agent Matthew Williamson explained that the site was part of a much larger farming set-up and that ‘the need for a farm office has become paramount’.

“Current policy allows development within the green belt and we have proved there’s an agricultural need through the independent chartered surveyor,” he said.

Coun Trevor Thorne pointed to the fact that the parish council had highlighted that the farm also owned land out of the green belt where the dwelling could be located.

But Coun Dougie Watkin said: “The fact that it’s in the green belt means it can only be an agricultural worker’s dwelling.”