Major town scheme set to be revived

Amble land to the west of the  A 1068 besides Marks Bridge.
Amble land to the west of the A 1068 besides Marks Bridge.

The resurrection of a controversial housing scheme in a north Northumberland town looks set to get the green light tonight.

Members of Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee are recommended to approve plans to alter aspects of a scheme to build 250 homes at land west of the A1068 near Marks Bridge in Amble.

The changes would see the overall number of properties come down from 260 in the original plan and the number of affordable units reduced from 90 to 10.

Also, the applicant, Persimmon Homes, proposes to add another £200,000 to the £250,000 previously promised for a section 106 agreement.

But whereas it was to be used for sports facilities at Amble Welfare before, now the total would be used to develop affordable housing in the town.

And it is this aspect which has sparked an objection from Amble Town Council. At the council’s June meeting, members stressed the need to secure funding to develop sports and leisure facilities.

Members also said they would also like to see more smaller-sized homes in the scheme, which includes a high proportion of four and five bedroom properties.

Five residents living near the site on Marks Bridge also objected to the plans.

One of them, David Wingfield, told the Gazette: “I have been against any building project at Marks Bridge as the land in question is designated greenbelt, and other brownbelt land in Amble which has planning permission has not been built on.”

He also pointed out that the plans will see a variety of two and three-storey homes built, which will overlook existing residents as as the new properties borders their boundaries.

But the conclusion from the county council’s planning officer states that the reduction in affordable homes would accord with current guidance while ‘matters relating to the impact of the development on the amenities of neighbouring residents will be assessed at the reserved matters stage’