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Concerns over increase in 'high-end' homes in Coquetdale village

The site proposed for up to 18 homes in Thropton.
The site proposed for up to 18 homes in Thropton.

Outline plans for up to 18 new homes on the outskirts of a Coquetdale village are recommended for approval this week.

The bid for a site on the western edge of Thropton, next to Thropton Demesne and south of the B6341, goes before the North Northumberland Local Area Council on Thursday.

The application, by Mr J Aynsley, is in outline at this stage, but it ‘would provide a mix of residential units’.

The scheme is recommended for approval by planners, but is the subject of an objection from Thropton Parish Council as well as five residents.

The proposed development is across the road from the site to the west of Northern 4×4 Centre, which has outline permission for up to 60 homes, dating back five years.

The detailed application for this site, for 44 homes, was lodged with Northumberland County Council earlier this year, but has not yet been decided.

The parish council’s objection states: ‘This is a much more sympathetic proposal than that proposed on the Northern 4×4 site, however, if these 44 dwellings are approved, a further 18 would add to a significant increase in the size of the village, ie, approximately 33 per cent.

‘This would alter the character of the village and put substantial pressure on all support services and infrastructure.’

It also calls for transparency over the housing split, saying: ‘Thropton has had an incremental increase in high-end dwellings and this trend is continuing strongly at the present time.

‘As well as the maximum number of affordable houses, we also need middle-range homes.’

A planning statement submitted on behalf of the applicant by George F White says the scheme would make a positive contribution ‘through the provision of 18 new family self-build homes’ and ‘would bring benefits in meeting the housing supply and addressing housing need requirements’.

If approved, a section 106 legal agreement would secure three affordable homes on site, a five-year management plan for a landscape buffer, and a £24,000 contribution for education, as KEVI in Morpeth is at capacity.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service