Disappointed at decision to grant houses

Development off Weavers Way.

I attended a county council planning meeting on Thursday, March 6, in the Northumberland Hall, with regard to the construction of 58 one and two-bedroom residential units for the elderly.

This was passed and construction will start soon.

Also being considered was the outline planning permission for the construction of 271 assorted dwellings on the adjoining fields.

Well, as you may have already heard, it was all given the green light and I’m sure that quite a few people felt let down that outline planning was granted.

The lady from the planning department, when reading the proposal, quoted 231 houses.

We had notification letters of 271 dwellings and 58 residential units for the elderly. She was challenged from the floor, chose to dismiss the challenge.

Her attempt at a PowerPoint production also left a lot to be desired, she clearly had no idea of the area she was presenting.

Only one angle had been used to produce photographs, none were used from the objectors’ angles, in fact I would say, none of the objectors’ points had been considered at all.

To all who live off Weavers Way (the road past the football club and cricket club): Take care and beware, construction site traffic is on the way.

Coun Cairns, while voting it through, did ask why the proposed new road (off Sainsbury’s roundabout) could not be built prior to any development, only to be told by a gentleman from Highways that such a size of development did not warrant a new road being constructed first. Weavers Way is acceptable for such works traffic, so more potholes to come and still the same dangerous bend.

The two objectors from the floor were allowed two-and-a-half minutes each to voice objections. The gentleman from the Northumberland Estates’ office got his five minutes (and quite a lot more) to sell his slot.

The councillors who were to make the decision on the evening sat with their backs to the audience.

How rude was that? Is it that they couldn’t or didn’t want to face their voters when the decision was announced. Clearly they hadn’t taken on board concerns raised, not only by residents, a number of concerns have been raised by professional consultants (details can be read on Northumberland County Council’s website).

At the end of this item on the agenda, quite a few people left the meeting, myself included. I was very disappointed at the outcome.

My main feeling, however, was that the decision had already been made prior to the meeting. That is quite a concern when we are supposed to be living in a democratic society, where people are able to care and say what they feel about where they live and the area’s development and future.

My apologies to readers who think I’m just having a moan. I do care about Alnwick. Personally, I think the priority should be given to building the new high school.

The children from Alnwick deserve a decent building and also the development of new sports fields, although that may be a thorn in the side of residents in the new, to-be-built apartments for the elderly.

Joan Moses,

Highfield Park, Alnwick