Mitford homes bids rejected

Neighbouring residents visiting the site earlier this year.
Neighbouring residents visiting the site earlier this year.

Two strongly-opposed schemes for new housing in Mitford were turned down this week, as new planning policies start to kick in.

The two bids, by applicant Les Stephenson, were for two adjacent sites, which would be accessed from Emily Davison Avenue (EDA).

One scheme was an outline application for four executive homes on land south-east of Newminster Abbey House, while the other, also outline, was for six to eight homes on land north of EDA.

Resident Mike Burgess spoke against the plans, citing the concerns about changing a cul-de-sac into a through road. “This development would put people’s lives at risk,” he said.

Andrew Tebbutt, county councillor for the area, said: “The area to the west of Morpeth has been fiercely protected because it’s a beautiful area. The Core Strategy and Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan do not support development in this area and there are no special circumstances to allow building on the green belt.”

The planning officers agreed as the main reasons for refusal related to the sites being in the open countryside and green belt.

In both cases, the applicant had lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate against non-determination, ie, the length of time taken to deal with the applications.

This was not valid for the four homes, but was for the six to eight properties, meaning the final decision is out of the hands of the county council.