Protesters’ delight as homes bid is rejected

From left, Guy Appleby, Liz Appleby, parish councillor Colin Barker, county councillor Kate Cairns, Laurence Dent and Carole Dent.
From left, Guy Appleby, Liz Appleby, parish councillor Colin Barker, county councillor Kate Cairns, Laurence Dent and Carole Dent.

Villagers fighting proposals for five new homes in Rock won the day as councillors turned down the bid against planning-officer advice.

The controversial proposals, for stone-built properties on land south of Rock Cricket Club, were recommended for approval at Tuesday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s planning committee.

However, having heard from resident Laurence Dent, parish councillor Colin Barker and county councillor Kate Cairns, a majority of members voted to refuse permission as they didn’t consider it to be a sustainable location.

After the meeting, Coun Cairns said: “The residents and parish council have gone to great lengths to be extremely well informed and they presented an articulate and impressive case for refusal.

“As a professional working in the field of sustainability, I see that often in decision-making, the environmental, social and economic benefits are not always balanced. This balance is at the heart of sustainable development.

“As county councillor and community, we have come together and made a strong impression on the decision-making committee members. I am proud of that and they should be too.”

Resident Guy Appleby said: “Without the support of Coun Cairns and Rennington Parish Council, we would not have achieved this outcome.

“It is not easy for local people to challenge the planning process, but with the help of the parish council and Kate, we managed to get our voices heard.”