‘Homes should be affordable for local people’

Land behind High Fair and Bromney Road in Wooler.

Land behind High Fair and Bromney Road in Wooler.

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Parish councillors are seeking assurances about plans for 36 social homes at Common Road in the village.

They are keen to see properties that are genuinely affordable to local people and believe narrow roads will need to be improved to handle more traffic.

Landowners behind the scheme are Alan and Eileen Ferguson, of Fergusons Transport and Redpath of Wooler.

At last month’s meeting, father and daughter David and Jennifer Cherrie, of local planning consultancy Consented, outlined proposals for the site.

The planning application says it would all be social housing, but Mr Cherrie would not be drawn on prices. He said housing associations and groups would determine what was social affordable for the area.

At April’s meeting, chairwoman Coun Alfreda Hindmarsh said there was a great need for rented homes and any properties for sale had to be at a price suitable for Wooler. “There is a huge difference between what is affordable for this area and what is affordable on Tyneside.”

Coun Brian Patterson said any new housing had to be welcomed. Coun Hindmarsh replied: “It’s important we all recognise that housing is desperately needed in Wooler – not just sheltered housing, but young ones are desperate for houses as well. We do not want to be seen to be knocking housing, but there has to be a lot of dialogue before plans are allowed to go through.”

A member of the public who lives in Ramseys Lane said he had no objection to the estate, but asked for serious consideration of safety because there was only one route to the site – Ramseys Lane and Common Road.

“It needs one blockage and I should imagine you’ve got about 700 people living in that area who would be denied fire, ambulance and other traffic. It’s totally reliant on that junction with the High Street.”

Coun Patterson said some people living in High Fair would look on to roof ridges, despite assurances the site would be configured so there was no loss of view for people nearby.