Proposal to extend operations is refused

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A controversial change of use application in a Northumberland village has been turned down.

Applicant Mr Hickey acquired the site – on land west of the Post Office, Fourth Row – last year and was seeking to extend his operations as he runs adjoining businesses MJ Hickey Plant Hire and Contracts Ltd and R Thornton and Co Ltd.

The planning statement lodged with Northumberland County Council for the bid to change the site from disused residential garages to industrial use included the following: ‘The applicant has suggested the construction of an earth bund to mitigate noise, dust and visual impacts for local residents nearby.

‘Employee vehicles are currently parked on an ad-hoc basis near the north-west boundary of the application site. The additional land would ensure that vehicles can be parked more safely.’

But many residents were unhappy with the proposal and as well as the 95 objections, dozens of people raised their concerns during a public meeting at Linton Institute last month.

Adam Smallwood’s objection stated: ‘The proposed extension of the land for industrial use would result in significant, adverse impacts from noise and dust, affecting residential amenity for neighbouring properties and the adjacent village school’.

Jacqui White said that granting planning permission would go against the National Planning Policy Framework as it would ‘seriously compound and cause further detrimental effects on the quality of life for the residents of Linton and the local environment’.

Previous applications for housing have been approved on site, but the permissions have since lapsed. A Grainger spokesman confirmed that it sold the land to Mr Hickey in September 2017.

County council planning officers refused the application on Tuesday, saying there was inadequate information in relation to ‘identifying the site layout, design and appearance, the impact to residential amenity from the proposed site in terms of noise dust, lighting and vehicular movements, potential ground contamination, highway safety and surface water drainage’.