Housing bid fears posted to inspector

A planning inspector will determine an appeal against a decision to reject a bid for new apartments in Ponteland through written representations.

Galliford Try’s plans for a five-storey block containing 18 flats on the western part of a site at Mill House, off West Road, were turned down by Northumberland County Council’s west area planning committee earlier this year.

Members said that the scale, design and massing of the proposed building was inappropriate and the application had not sufficiently addressed parking and highway-safety issues.

The site was previously developed with offices for Galliford Try, which have recently been demolished after the firm’s scheme for seven detached dwellings was given planning permission.

The company has appealed as it believes it has a strong case. It says the proposed development would provide much-needed high-quality housing on previously-developed land and will add value to the character and variety of housing available in the local area.

There were more than 50 objections from local residents and organisations to the application and Ponteland Town Council is among those that have written to the planning inspector.

Its submission includes the following: “The proposed building is too large, with a scale, mass and height that will dominate the surrounding area and be out of proportion with the neighbouring small-scale, mainly traditionally-built housing.

“The area where it is proposed is in a flood plain and in the event of flooding, problems will be caused for residents and vehicles attempting to leave and access the site.”