Plans to build 25 apartments in two blocks on the library site in Ponteland have been given the go-ahead despite objections from residents and the town council.
The house-building arm of Arch, Ascent Homes’, scheme for two three-storey blocks of flats linked by glazed bridges on the Thornhill Road site, was unanimously approved by the county council’s planning committee on Tuesday.
Key concerns raised at the meeting were the impact on the residential amenity and privacy of those living in nearby Henderson Court, an assisted-living complex, and car parking in an area of town already plagued by problems.
Sarah Robinson, speaking on behalf of her parents, who live in Henderson Court, said that the new development would have a major impact on the quality of life of residents there and the impact on privacy ‘will rob them of their dignity’.
On a wider scale, she said that one car-parking space per flat was not sufficient, given the existing parking problems in that area. This point was supported by Christine Caisley, of Ponteland Town Council, who added: “This would be far better as a community facility, but I know it makes more money as housing.”
Members heard that the distances to Henderson Court were between 26 and 28 metres, while one space per dwelling met the current guidelines.
Karen Reed, a planning consultant speaking on behalf of Ascent Homes, said: “The scale and massing has been reduced significantly in response to the concerns of residents of Henderson Court. The distance is sufficient to retain residential amenity.”
After the approval, it was reported that there are unrelated plans in the offing to build a 40-space car park on Merton Way.