A public exhibition held this week to launch outline plans for a new housing development in a north Northumberland village attracted plenty of local interest.
More than 100 residents, including members of the parish council, attended the event held by Northumberland Estates at Westfield Park in Longhoughton on Tuesday.
Still in the earliest stages, the plans propose 60 new homes to be built on land to the north of Station Road and west of the church.
The development would include two, three and four-bedroom houses, as well as bungalows, with the aim of offering a range of new housing suitable for families, young couples and the elderly. This would be in addition to affordable housing to enable locals to get onto the property ladder.
Pedestrian access would connect the site to the heart of the village and a great deal of attention is being paid to retaining landscaping features as well as including open green space and additional tree-planting in the new scheme.
Guy Munden, from the planning department of Northumberland Estates, said: “The proposals follow on from detailed discussions with Longhoughton Parish Council.
“The majority of those attending were extremely supportive of the scheme, recognising the benefits that new homes and affordable housing would bring in maintaining the vitality of the village and investing in its future. Even those who query the need for additional housing appeared to welcome other benefits including moves to alleviate existing flooding issues, measures to improve road safety and the
support the scheme would bring in helping to maintain existing amenities such as the village school.
“We hope to submit an outline planning application shortly, but in the meantime would welcome further constructive feedback from residents. By working closely with Northumberland County Council, Longhoughton Parish Council and those living in the village throughout the planning process, we aim to deliver a high-quality development which will enhance the village as well as contributing to the sustainability of services and village amenities for the long term.”
Not everyone is positive about the plans though. Resident Joan Ford suggested it was ‘a proposal too far’.
“We have had three estates built in the village within the last ten years. The RAF is also looking to empty more of the houses in the village, so why would we need any more new ones built?
“We have poor public transport and we are five miles from Alnmouth station, which is already pushed past its limit regarding parking. Just what would atract new buyers anyway? We don’t even have a pub anymore.
“The Estates already has plans for a caravan/camping site down Boulmer Road so where and how is the traffic going to be managed given that the approach to the village is under a railway bridge where traffic is reduced to one lane only?
“Just who would benefit from this developement?”