New plans for ‘eyesore’ run into problems

Plans to re-develop a village eyesore could be sent back to the drawing board.

Outline planning consent is being sought to build 17 homes and three commercial units at the former A1 Diner and petrol station at Station Road End, Stannington.

The site has been vacant for more than a decade, and while plans for a hotel and diner were previously approved, no buyer could be found.

Applicant Evergreen Developments says the proposed scheme would bring the land back into viable use, improve the appearance and regenerate the area, with the potential for about 20 full-time and ten part-time jobs.

But Northumberland County Council’s Public Protection Team says the site may not be suitable for residential use due to noise levels from the A1, which may not be able to be addressed.

It also fears there is a high risk of contaminated land and the possibility of mine gas so further investigations must be carried out.

Meanwhile, highways officers say the proposed combined commercial and residential access would be inappropriate, insufficient parking spaces are indicated and some footway links are incomplete, and Northumbrian Water says more detail is needed on the disposal of foul and surface water to ensure there is no increased risk of flooding.

However, Stannington Parish Council has raised no objections.

Chairman Karen Carins said: “We preferred the application that came through years ago for a hotel, but given the state of the land, which has become an eyesore, we fear this could be an ongoing situation so we prefer something to be done, rather than it just being left.”