Short shrift for housing plans

PLANS to amend a Morpeth housing development have been given short shrift by town councillors.

Last week the Herald reported residents’ fury at moves to alter the approved plans for The Kylins development at the former borough council headquarters.

Developer Charles Church and its parent company Persimmon Homes are seeking to amend the layout of houses, roads and parking facilities, as well as change house types.

They say that the alterations are ‘minor changes’ to provide a more attractive design, while local consultation has been carried out and the development will conform to all regulations.

But residents say the changes will harm the character of the area, reduce their privacy, increase traffic and cause road safety concerns for children.

They are also dismayed that amendments are being proposed at all as lengthy negotiations took place before the original planning permission was given to ensure the development was acceptable.

Now members of Morpeth Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee have also hit out at the applications.

Coun David Parker said: “When this planning permission was first presented there was a hell of a lot of pre-planning work that went into developing the development brief with local people.

“They went through all that and local people are saying that all this is doing is upsetting an equilibrium.

“Grainger has sold the land with planning permission and the local people are saying ‘you have got your permission, get on with it’.”

Councillors said the first application, which relocates approved house types, substitutes split-level houses for two-storey and has associated road pattern, parking, landscaping and boundary changes, should be rejected as it is out of keeping with the development brief, doesn’t take into consideration the impact on residents and is not an effective use of the land and topography.

They also oppose the second application to ‘flip’ some plots so houses are facing The Kylins, saying it will increase traffic and parking problems in the road and cause a road safety issue.

The committee’s objections will be submitted on behalf of Morpeth Town Council to Northumberland County Council, which will decide the applications.