Villagers call for former colliery yard homes plan to be approved

VILLAGERS have called on councillors to reject officers’ advice and approve a bid for housing.

The proposal by plant hire firm MJ Hickey (MJH) and Armstrong’s Scrap Yard (Linton Auto Dismantlers) is to build up to 43 homes in Linton on part of the former colliery yard.

No letters of objection have been submitted, but the scheme has received 12 in support from locals, who believe it will benefit the community.

And a public consultation exercise on a previous application attracted more than 80 positive comments.

However, Northumberland County Council planners are recommending that it should be refused, saying nothing has changed since a bid for a similar scheme was rejected in January last year.

They say the land is allocated for employment, there could be problems of noise and dust for residents of the new homes, and there is not enough detail of how affordable housing would be provided.

But supporter Pat Caldow, who has lived in Linton for 29 years, said: “The reasons the council is giving to refuse the bid are a load of rubbish.

“It says that there’s going to be noise problems, but how does it think we have lived over the years? We’ve had opencast here and it’s not been a problem.

“MJ Hickey will move its operations on this land to another part of their site and Armstrong’s can move its Linton workers to its Newcastle site, so no one is going to lose their job.”

She added: “New housing will be a boost for the village first school, shops and institute and it will also bring new amenities.

“We have no gas at the moment so if more people come to Linton we will eventually get it installed.

“People of all ages support the application as we all want to see the village progressing for the better.”

A decision on the application was due to be taken by the county council’s South East Area Planning Committee on Tuesday, but it has been deferred until June at the request of the applicant.