Plans for social homes in doubt

The building in Broomhill formerly occupied by Shark Sports.
The building in Broomhill formerly occupied by Shark Sports.

AFFORDABLE housing which was earmarked as part of a housing scheme could be lost because of a lack of interest in the site.

Jane Nolan told members of East Chevington Parish Council that she has been unable to sell the former Shark Sports site, in North Broomhill, despite actively marketing it.

Outline planning permission was granted in 2010 for 18 homes, with 40 per cent affordable.

Mrs Nolan needs to reapply for planning permission. But industry feedback has suggested that the amount of affordable housing attached is no longer viable and she is having to request that Northumberland County Council considers taking out the requirement.

She said: “We have tried to sell it and have contacted national/regional firms and housing associations, and even reduced the price.

“It has coincided wuh a downturn in the construction industry and the feedback we have had is that it is not viable to have that level of affordable housing and we are going to have to ask for it not to have that particular requirement on it.

“We want it to be sold/developed so it can add to the village.”

Parish council chairman Scott Dickinson said he feared it could lead to holiday homes and be financially out of reach for locals with a housing need.

The former Shark Sports site is just one site in the parish which has stalled.

Parish councillors said that the planning application in relation to phase three of the Park View development at Hadston has been withdrawn.

The former Pettica Garage site has stood empty for a long time.

Coun Paul Claridge said: “We are going to have massive sites all over the place.”

Coun Dickinson added that areas are not being developed as planned.

Concerns were raised about the state of the Pettica site.

Coun Fred Thurgood said rubbish is dumpled there and someone will get hurt sooner or later.