Another housing bid in Northumberland hamlet

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Permission is being sought for more new homes in an ever-expanding Northumberland community '“ but it may offer some hope of dealing with ongoing road issues.

An outline bid for 13 detached properties on land north of North View Farm, in Medburn, has been lodged with Northumberland County Council.

It is the latest in a seemingly never-ending series of applications in the hamlet, to the south-west of Ponteland, which have left county councillors frustrated at their inability to limit further development, despite major concerns about the state of The Avenue, an unadopted private road.

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The new proposal is for a mixture of four to six-bedroom houses of two and three storeys (the latter with rooms in the loft space).

A design and access statement says that the applicant feels that maintenance of The Avenue ‘is of paramount importance’ and it is proposed that ‘purchasers of each dwelling should contribute a percentage of the purchase price of their home to the maintenance of the road’.

‘This should be agreed with the local authority and local residents. Funds should be deposited into a ring-fenced bank account used solely for contributions by new and existing residents, managed by an existing or newly-formed estates committee.

‘It is also considered that an ongoing service charge may be implemented subject to agreement with and matched contributions from the existing residents.’

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Medburn has seen approval given for 40 new homes off The Avenue in the past two years, while in March, a section 106 legal agreement was signed off, meaning construction work on 62 new family homes can start.

At the April meeting of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council, members decided to take a stand and refuse an outline bid for two homes, with Coun Richard Dodd describing the road as ‘a bombsite’.

A highways officer said the state of The Avenue was not felt to be grounds for refusal as a previous objection was rejected by a planning inspector at appeal back in 2011.

This same appeal decision ruled that Medburn, despite having no services and limited access to public transport, should be considered a sustainable location for housing due to its proximity to Ponteland.

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Members questioned whether this was still relevant given how long ago it was, but by the time the May meeting came around, a new appeal decision had been issued, which confirmed this previous stance.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service