Decision to reject plans for Amble development applauded

A computer-generated image (CGI) of the application for the former Signal Cottage site in Amble.
A computer-generated image (CGI) of the application for the former Signal Cottage site in Amble.

Objectors clapped when a plan to replace a demolished bungalow in Amble with three residential units was rejected by Northumberland County councillors at a meeting this afternoon.

The application for full planning permission for a new building at the former Signal Cottage site in Amble went before the county's North Northumberland Local Area Council.

It had been recommended for approval by planning officers but councillors voted unanimously to put a block on the scheme.

The decision was greeted with spontaneous applause from the public gallery.

Coun Jeff Watson, member for Amble and Warkworth, had proposed that the application be turned down on the grounds of height, massing and design.

And all the other councillors at the meeting agreed.

Coun Gordon Castle, member for Alnwick, said: "This is a subjective judgement, but it is more than a step too far. It is in a very sensitive location."

The scheme was set to go before councillors last month, but the application was withdrawn from the agenda in the run-up to the meeting. The ground level of the building would have been partially sunk below the existing ground level by one metre.

The applicant originally submitted plans that included one residential unit and three holiday let units, but spread over three floors. Following discussions with the council’s planning team, it was agreed to reduce it to two storeys containing three units and alter the external appearance.

The scheme was opposed by Amble Town Council, which objected on the grounds of ‘gross over-development, it being a very prominent feature on the landscape and coastline compared to the original building’.

It sparked 13 letters of objection from residents and one letter of support.

However, the planning officer’s report concludes: ‘It is considered that the appearance, scale and materials of the proposal is acceptable, and that the proposed development would not have a detrimental impact on the character of the landscape or the street scene. In addition, the proposal would be acceptable in relation to access and highways safety’.