Developer appeals over homes changes decision

DEVELOPERS have lodged an appeal against a decision blocking changes to a Morpeth housing scheme.

Persimmon Homes has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of its Charles Church arm after its proposals to modify a housing development at The Kylins were turned down by county councillors.

The company had applied to ‘flip’ some of the plots so that houses would face on to the main Kylins distributer road, as well as re-organise parking provision.

In a second application, it proposed substituting split level house types for two storey, building an additional dwelling and changing associated road, parking, landscape and boundary arrangements.

County planning officers had recommended approval of the amendments, saying they would not have an adverse impact on the area and could enhance what had previously been agreed.

But residents fiercely opposed the applications, arguing they would significantly alter a compromise development brief that had been drawn up following lengthy negotiations when the housing scheme was first approved by the former Castle Morpeth Council.

They said the proposed changes would increase traffic, jeopardise safety, create parking problems and lead to a loss of view, light and privacy.

And when the plans came before the North Area Planning Committee members rejected them in majority votes.

However, an appeal has now been submitted.

Charles Church North East Regional Chairman David Jenkinson said: “We can confirm that we have appealed against the planning permission decision that was made with regards to The Kylins.”

Residents are dismayed that the company is taking such action and are once more objecting to the plans.

Objector Maureen Howes, of The Kylins, said: “We have been on about this for years and years and the development brief that was drawn up shouldn’t just be dismissed.

“There is still a lot of feeling about this. So much work was done to get this development brief, but still the company is trying to push its plans through. It just doesn’t respect our views.”

Morpeth Town Council, which also opposed the plans, has re-stated its objections, arguing that “the carefully constructed balance struck in the development brief will be nullified”.

Coun David Parker said: “When the town council heard there was going to be an appeal it wished to reiterate its previous position.

“It felt that the changes proposed were just not acceptable as they had not taken into account the development brief that the previous Castle Morpeth Borough Council and local residents had agreed, and that was the basis on which the application was initially approved.

“The applicant wanted the development brief to be ignored, but local residents were very clear that there had been an understanding based on compromise and that was where they stood. The town council hopes that the inspector will support the area planning committee’s decision in both cases.”

Fellow councillor Andrew Tebbutt, who also spoke against the amendments at the planning committee, added that he was disappointed that Persimmon had not listened to residents’ views and hoped the appeals would be rejected.

The Kylins Residents’ Association is also arguing against the appeal.

Secretary Joan Tebbutt said: “The residents of The Kylins are disappointed and angry that Persimmon refuses to accept the democratic process so clearly demonstrated at the planning committee in May.

“The Government believes neighbourhood and community involvement in the planning process is essential and we believe the approved plan for The Kylins development, based on an agreed development brief, is an outstanding example of how it should work.

“The Kylins Residents’ Association will be sending further documentation to the Planning Inspectorate to back up the views expressed at the planning committee and supported by the councillors.

“We can only hope that the Planning Inspectorate will reject these appeals.”

Any comments submitted at the application stage will be sent to the inspector. Additional comments should be forwarded by Friday, August 12.

The appeals will be decided following written representations.