Housing deluge comes to an end in Longhorsley

A housing bid in a village whose residents felt ‘under siege’ earlier this year has been refused due to it being in ‘the open countryside’.

The outline application for up to five homes, on land west of Church View, Badgers Ford, Longhorsley, was turned down by councillors at Tuesday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s planning and rights of way committee.

The scheme had sparked 52 letters of objection from residents as well as being opposed by the parish council.

Resident Denise Primrose said: “There has been overwhelming opposition to this development, shown by the 52 objections and I have five pages of a petition here. The main concern for a lot of people is the health and safety for the access into this site.

Currently it’s a cul-de-sac and the access would be through an existing driveway.”

But agent Richard Garland warned that it was ‘very dangerous to base reasons for refusal on emerging policy’, adding that it was ‘grossly unfair’ that Mr Brotherton (the applicant) has been punished by the delay in dealing with the application.

The reasons for refusal were that it ‘would represent non-essential and unjustified development in the open countryside outside of the defined settlement boundary limits’. It would also be located in the green belt and ‘no special circumstances have been demonstrated’, rendering it ‘inappropriate’.

A third reason – that insufficient information has been provided to assess the impact on protected species – was added by the planning officer at the meeting.

As with other bids before Tuesday’s meeting, more weight can now be put on the emerging core strategy, meaning there is more control on green belt and settlement boundaries.