Withdrawal of cottage plans delight for residents

Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.
Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

Residents opposing a controversial application in a historical area of Ponteland have spoken of their delight after it was withdrawn.

The bid by Andrew Mate for The Vergers Cottage involved changing its previous office use by creating a café, with cooking taking place remotely or in a vintage Citroen food truck outside the building.

An amended proposal for what was described by the applicant as a ‘family-friendly eatery’ was submitted in July.

However, strong objections were once again put forward by people living in the nearby Peel House properties and other residents.

They believed the close proximity of the van to the homes would cause noise and odour issues and blight the conservation area in which the cottage sits and there would be a loss of privacy as a result of those accessing the café.

Other concerns included parking, conservation and archaeological issues, as well as the proposed structural changes to the building.

One the Peel House residents, Alex Dingwall, said: “This application had become a stressful and contentious issue for the residents since it was first submitted in April.

“The issues we have raised have been recognised by Northumberland County Council’s planning department and contributed to the application being withdrawn, much to the relief and delight of the Peel House residents.

“We are grateful to all our supporters during the campaign, including others living near the site, members of Ponteland Civic Society and those elsewhere interested in preserving an important conservation area.

“In the right place, this is a great idea. However, we believe this location is certainly not the right place.”

The area surrounding the cottage is said to be home to a variety of flora and fauna and many bird species, and animals such as red squirrels have been spotted.

The planning statement by the applicant included the following: ‘The new venture at The Vergers Cottage would provide a unique eating and social experience in Ponteland.

‘Unlike any other venue, it would combine healthy food with a child-friendly environment.

‘The Pele Tower gardens and the presence of the vintage food truck would also create a unique atmosphere, enhancing the street scene as well as bringing a historic building back to life.’