New housing in conservation area gets the go-ahead

PLANS for two large homes in a Northumberland village have been given the green light despite local opposition.

The four-bedroom dwellings on land east of Longhirst Village Hall were approved by the majority of Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee members.

Objections were submitted by local residents, the parish council and Longhirst Parish Association, which manages and runs the village hall.

Their concerns included that the properties would have an adverse and dominating impact on the character and appearance of the north-east corner of the Longhirst Conservation Area, in which the site is located.

Longhirst Parish Council Chairman Bob Jackson said Longhirst was made a conservation area simply because it was a linear village, so if the development went ahead, the reason for having a conservation area would be gone.

And Gill Featonby, Chairman of Longhirst Parish Association, said that a Section 106 Agreement had been set up to prevent any changes which would alter the character of the village.

The development will also include two new garage blocks. Paul Conn, agent for the applicant, said the materials used would enhance the area, there had been a lot of consultation and it was one of the best small developments his firm had ever designed.

In a report to the committee members, senior planning officer Tony Lowe said the proposal was not considered to represent an unacceptable form of back-land development because its siting was considered to be generally consistent with other developments on the same side of the main road.

He added that it would not have an adverse impact on the Conservation Area or nearby listed buildings.