PLANS: Bungalows will be in demand

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I read with interest your two recent reports concerning planning refusals by Northumberland County Council for new housing on sites at Stannington and Ulgham.

In both cases the developments proposed were bungalows, which I admit are not always preferred by older persons, though demand for these tends to be strongest from this age group.

I understand from your report that some councillors assessing the Stannington proposal were torn between defending the greenfield status of the site and the need to provide more of this type of accommodation.

Both proposals were on sites that were accessible and close to facilities, making them suitable locations for older people. Furthermore, each was sufficiently small scale that it could have been accommodated sensitively without causing undue harm to the environment.

It is therefore disappointing that Northumberland County Council, in rejecting these proposals, appears to be ignoring the housing needs of older people in smaller rural settlements.

The decisions taken by the council contradict the findings of a recent inquiry into housing for older people, which supports the provision of more one-storey housing.

This has prompted a recommendation by MPs and peers that the bungalow make a ‘comeback’ to help an ageing population.

Sarah Hartop

Ulgham