Residents living close to a new housing development being built in Pegswood have said the site entrance is causing ‘great problems’.
The Barratt Homes North East scheme for 118 new homes on land north-east of Hebron Avenue was narrowly approved by Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee in April.
The scheme had previously gone before the committee in March, but was deferred for councillors to go on a site visit, mainly to look at the access amid road-safety fears.
Works started at the site about a month ago and the first phase of properties, including the showhomes, is set to be ready in summer 2019.
Residents have raised concerns about their impact on social media. One of the residents, Wendy Mcnally, told the Herald: “We said during the planning meetings that the road used for site access is not wide enough and the site entrance is not wide enough and this has turned out to be correct.
“It’s the safety aspect that is worrying people – there has been one near miss from a wagon backing straight out into the road, one car has been hit and the wagons are blocking residents trying to leave the estate.
“In addition, the footpath opposite is covered in mud as vehicles are having to go on it when manoeuvring to enter the site.”
Pegswood county councillor David Towns said: “These issues were raised at the planning meetings, so they weren’t unforeseen.
“I have been in contact with officers at the council’s planning department and the cabinet member responsible for planning, Coun John Riddle, to say that these complaints need to be looked into as soon as possible.
“It’s inevitable that there will be disruption from a development of this nature and the developer does have planning permission to carry out the works.
“But the right balance needs to be found as the works should meet the needs of residents. They should not start too early and we don’t want to see trucks going on the pavement in order to get into the site.”
The new development will be made up of a variety of two, three and four-bedroom homes, including some terraced, semi-detached and fully detached properties.
As part of the build process, the developer will invest more £373,000 into the Pegswood area.
The funding, which is part of planning agreements with the county council, has been spread across a variety of important services such as education contributions, healthcare contributions, off-site road and public-right-of-way works and 18 affordable homes.
A Barratt Homes North East spokesman said: “We apologise to residents for any inconvenience the entrance to the site has caused.
“We have constructed the entrance way to the specification outlined in the planning agreement with the local authority, however planned remedial works will be carried out during the construction of the site to ensure that residents will have improved access.”