150 new homes in county’s north by the end of 2015?

Land south of Dandsfield Square, Amble
Land south of Dandsfield Square, Amble

The construction of new affordable homes is set to start in Amble next month, with a string of further schemes to follow six months later.

Plans for 48 new properties on land south of Dandsfield Square was approved earlier this month, the first scheme of phase one of the county council’s affordable-homes drive.

A report to February’s meeting of the council’s north area committee revealed that further proposals for Embleton, Shilbottle, Wooler, Craster as well as Berwick and Blyth will aim for planning approval in April/May for a start-on-site date of August/September.

However, the site at Craster, at Whin Hill, is dependent on the purchasing of private land, which is still being negotiated with the land-owners.

Plus the Shilbottle site – Fairfield View – is dependent on further specialist engineering investigations being completed to ensure development is feasible. The outcome of these investigations will be known within two weeks.

Completion dates for the schemes are anticipated from October through to the middle of next year and if all the phase-one plans were to be approved, it would mean 150 new affordable homes in the north of the county.

The sites at Amble, Shilbottle, Embleton and Craster will become council housing, managed by Homes for Northumberland. The remaining sites have to be funded through general-fund borrowing and therefore cannot legally become council housing so the cost of building will be lent to a housing association.

Total borrowing for the seven schemes will be £19,276,941.