Post office must stay open

A 3D view of the proposed housing scheme.
A 3D view of the proposed housing scheme.

Residents have given a broad welcome to plans for new homes in their village, but also a word of caution on services and increased traffic.

Northumberland Estates hosted a public exhibition at Lesbury Village Hall on Thursday to invite comments on a redevelopment of land between School House and Down House.

The open session for Northumberland Estates' new homes plans in Lesbury.

The open session for Northumberland Estates' new homes plans in Lesbury.

The plans suggest 20 houses in a mix of styles similar to current homes to complement the character of the village, including two and three-bedroom family properties, some bungalows and some affordable housing.

But the biggest focus for residents has been plans for a new shop and post office to replace the existing one, with concerns that services must continue throughout the building work.

Last year, villagers mounted a successful campaign to prevent the business from closing for good.

Householder Judith Twine, from Steppey Lane, was one of those who visited the exhibition to make her views known.

“The post office and shop must remain open during the development,” she said. “If they close for a second time, it will not likely re-open.

“We really appreciate having a post offic e and we missed it when it was closed.”

Anne Exley, of Garden Terrace, added: “They have to retain the shop and post office as it was quite a fight to save them from closure. The street was dead when they were shut.

“It is vital that both remain open while construction work takes place.

“There is also a concern about any increase in traffic from the new homes, so we’d like to see measures to address this.”

Chairman of the hall trustees, Clive Gibson, added: “I can definitely see benefits to the village. In the short-term there is concern about the impact to the village hall while building work is under way.

“We would also like to see people live in these properties year-round, rather than them being used as second homes or holiday lets.”

The Estates says it will collate public responses before submitting a planning application to Northumberland County Council for consideration.

Plans at a glance

20 new homes in a mix of styles, including two and three-bedroom properties, bungalows and affordable units.

A new-build post office and shop, replacing the original premises between School House and Down House.

Parking paces will be provided within current guidelines.