Demonstration organised by homes protesters

The site of the proposed homes opposite the middle school in Rothbury.
The site of the proposed homes opposite the middle school in Rothbury.

A new group set up to oppose what it describes as ‘inappropriate and unwanted housing developments’ in and around Rothbury is organising a protest this weekend.

Encouraged by local support, an emerging group called CRAG (Caring for Rothbury Action Group) is organising a peaceful mass gathering, which will take place on Saturday at the village’s Dr Thomlinson Church of England Middle School at 3pm.

The main development causing concern is the Northumberland Estates’ scheme for 57 homes on land either side of Garleigh Road, which was approved in January.

The site is split into two areas with 40 private homes to the south of existing properties at Lordenshaw Drive and 17 affordable houses to the south of the middle school and Silverton Lane.

The Estates’ bid prompted objections from 29 neighbours, while the parish councils of Rothbury, Cartington and Whitton and Tosson were all against and ward councillor Steven Bridgett spoke in opposition.

But the scheme was recommended for approval by Northumberland County Council planning officers and Barry Spall, from the developer, said: “Rothbury is a main service centre and a sustainable location to which development should be directed.”

He added that the site was suitable, according to the county council’s own housing land assessment, that there are limited sites available in Rothbury and that 30 per cent affordable housing would be provided.

The group also opposed an Estates’ application for 21 holiday lodges on land south of Rothbury Golf Club, which was withdrawn in March.

For more information about CRAG, email Rothbury crag@outlook.com or visit http://rothbury.co.uk/groups/crag/index.php