Councillors back bid for social homes

A parish council has supported plans for 27 affordable homes to be built in the village it serves – but objected to proposals for 44 private properties.

Two separate but linked schemes have been submitted to Northumberland County Council to construct a raft of housing in Warkworth.

Northumberland Estates wants to build the private homes on land south of Morwick Road.

The company says that a financial contribution from the development of this site would then be made to the county council to assist the delivery of the affordable homes on an adjacent plot.

The authority, in partnership with Esh Group and Two Castles Housing Association, is proposing to build the social homes on land south of New Barns Court.

But at last week’s Warkworth Parish Council – also attended by about 20 residents – concerns were raised about the private home plan.

Reservations included the number of homes being proposed, with fears that an influx of people could change the nature of the village.

The parish council objected to this scheme, but backed the affordable plans.

Speaking afterwards, parish council vice-chairman, Jeff Watson said: “A number of residents were very concerned about the number of properties that are being proposed as part of the private housing scheme.

“They were also concerned about drainage, effects on the highway and changes to the local community.

“After much discussion, the parish council agreed that the private homes development was too large and did not believe there was a requirement for this number of houses.

“The plan for the affordable housing was accepted. While it is quite a large number, and there was some concern raised, we are aware there is a demand for affordable homes in the area.”

Coun Watson said he will make the same representations as the parish council in his county council role.

The private homes scheme proposes four, three-bedroom bungalows, as well as 15, three-bedroom, 12 three/four bedroom, five, four-bedroom, and eight, five-bedroom houses.

The affordable homes, described in a planning statement to be for ‘local people to rent’, comprise of four, one-bedroom apartments, and eight, two-bedroom bungalows, as well as nine, two-bedroom and six, three-bedroom houses.

The planning statement says the private/affordable homes will meet the needs and requirements of the community and be close to local services and public transport and assist the economic well-being of local communities and businesses.