Bid lodged for homes next to ‘ghost’ estate

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Residents have vowed to fight plans for 39 new homes in Seahouses, which is akin to a second phase of the King’s Field housing estate.

In March 2013, Northumbrian Leisure Ltd applied for outline permission to build 88 houses and a health village on the site, east of King’s Field.

The bid was amended in December that year and again in December 2014, with the health village removed and the number of homes slightly reduced. This application has yet to be decided.

But now, the applicant has applied for full planning permission for 27 four-bedroom homes (17 detached and 10 semi-detached), six three-bedroom detached houses and six two-bedroom bungalows.

Of these, 10 would be for ‘prime occupancy’ – for full-time residents not holiday lets – and four of the bungalows would be affordable.

However, Malcolm Cresswell, chairman of the King’s Field Residents Association, said that the village is short of affordable homes to buy or rent, so any development should be affordable homes only.

“There are already 77 houses in the King’s Field estate, but only 20 are lived in full-time,” he added. “We don’t want another extension to what at times feels like a ghost town.”

David Paul, the Labour candidate for the Bamburgh ward, said: “This feels like the wrong sort of development in the wrong location that won’t bring anything positive to Seahouses.”

The residents’ group is to hold a meeting to discuss the bid on Saturday at 1pm in the Olde Ship Inn’s Wardroom.

Mr Paul continued: “I’ve knocked on more than 1,500 doors across the Bamburgh ward in the past few weeks while canvassing for the election and the ever-increasing impact on our community of houses becoming holiday or second homes is a concern residents have raised with me time and time again.”

A statement submitted with the planning application says that ‘Seahouses as a service centre, as identified in the Northumberland Local Plan, is the most appropriate for housing development in the north Northumberland area and this site is the only one that can come forward in Seahouses in the short term’.

The statement also refers to the problem of second and holiday homes pricing locals out of the market and highlights how 25 per cent prime occupancy housing will help address this issue.