Bid to increase village homes

The entrance into the site in Swarland where permission is being sought for 26 homes.
The entrance into the site in Swarland where permission is being sought for 26 homes.

A developer wants to increase the number of homes on a site in a north Northumberland village which already has planning permission.

Housebuilder Cussins has lodged a bid with Northumberland County Council for 26 homes on land north and east of Lisleswood, off Old Park Road in Swarland.

The scheme would also involve the demolition of the indoor riding arena formerly related to Swarland Equestrian Centre, which is now only used privately according to the application.

There is an existing private access road serving two homes and the arena; this track would be upgraded to become the site access.

The development would feature three, four and five-bedroom ‘bungalows and houses of traditional appearance to reflect examples of the local vernacular and constructed in soft brick to reflect materials within the Swarland area’.

Four three-bedroom homes would be affordable, representing 15 per cent of the total.

Plans to demolish the riding arena and build 15 new homes were approved by the county council’s planning committee, in line with the planning officer’s recommendation, in October 2016.

That meeting heard a series of objections raised by the parish council and an impassioned speech by resident Ken Walters, who questioned whether the infrastructure of Swarland could take any more development.

“Swarland has been subject to development by creep, pushing the boundaries of the village into agricultural land,” he said. “We have got the development, but we haven’t got the infrastructure to back it up.”

But a planning statement submitted with the new scheme by Cussins says: ‘We consider that the proposals will deliver new housing, including affordable housing, that will bring new opportunities for people to live in the village and that in turn will support local services, including the first school which has expanded to a primary school and has capacity for additional pupils.

‘We do not consider the development would harm local residents, and have less than substantial harm to the conservation area and listed buildings, but would deliver benefits locally through new affordable housing.’

The application (18/02250/FUL) can be viewed and commented on at https://publicaccess.northumberland.gov.uk/

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service