Planners reject bid for homes

A PLANNING committee has rejected plans for a row of executive housing in a hamlet near Ponteland.

An outline application for 14 large dwellings with associated access, open space and landscaping next to the Nursery estate in Medburn received 12 objections from local residents and Ponteland Town Council was also opposed.

They said the area is a small settlement with only a limited bus service and poor paths for cyclists and pedestrians, so it is not a sustainable location for new house building and under the Castle Morpeth Local Plan, only infill development on brownfield sites is permitted.

Other comments included that the properties would be out of keeping with the rural character of Medburn, concerns about whether the existing drainage system would be able to cope with additional demand and there would be a negative impact on nature conservation interests.

At a meeting of the county council’s west area planning committee, officers said although the application would be contrary to a section of the local plan, this would be outweighed by the contribution that the scheme would make to executive housing provision both locally and regionally and affordable housing opportunities in the surrounding area through the payment of a financial contribution in lieu of on-site provision.

But members voted by six to two to turn down the bid.

Ponteland Mayor Peter Cowey said: “We’re pleased that the committee listened to the views of the council and local residents.

“Medburn is an inappropriate place to build these homes and it was good that the majority of councillors were on the same wavelength.”