Treehouse scheme leaves villagers angry

MORE than 50 people turned out to object to an application to create three holiday treehouses in West Thirston.

Plans have been submitted to erect three wooden lodges in trees at land south of the Northumberland Arms pub in the village.

But they have been met with major disapproval from residents in the village and neighbouring Felton.

The objections were so strong that an extraordinary joint meeting of both villages’ parish councils was held to discuss the concerns.

And 55 residents alongside parish and county councillors were present.

After a public consultation about the plans Felton and Thirston Residents’ Group was set up.

Villagers have numerous concerns about the plans.

The intrusion on the area, damage to trees, effect on wildlife, lack of detail relating to emergency access and more are all of concern to them.

The meeting heard that there have been three landslides in the area which is designated for development.

These were due to illegal tree felling and decaying trees collapsing into the river and taking land with them and residents are concerned that if the plans go ahead there could be more.

Developers have also been asked to provide evidence of the need for holiday lets in West Thirston and the surrounding area as villagers feel the current holiday homes are already under-used.

The lack of privacy to two neighbouring properties, unsympathetic effect on the area, and insufficient car parking were also raised.

And there were huge concerns that all residents that will be affected by the application are consulted as those living in Felton, who overlook the property, were not notified of the plans.

Objection letters have been submitted and it is likely that it will be decided by Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee.