Details of six plans in north Northumberland to be decided today

The site of proposed housing in Acklington.
The site of proposed housing in Acklington.
  • Homes in Acklington, Bamburgh, Lucker and Seahouses set for go-ahead
  • Approval likely to convert coach park in Berwick
  • Whitton bid recommended for refusal

A development of 22 new homes in Acklington is up for approval, despite sparking more than 80 objections from residents.

The scheme, for land west of the village hall, will be decided by members of the county council’s North Northumberland Local Area Council at its meeting this afternoon.

Four of the properties – two pairs of three-bedroom dwellings – would be affordable, while the remaining 18 would be four-bedroom houses.

In May last year, we reported that on behalf of the applicant, Mr M Clippingdale, George F White had lodged a full application for 24 (as it was then) homes.

A planning statement said that the affordable units would ‘supplement the four existing affordable homes that are already on site and which have proved extremely popular with 100 per cent occupancy since their completion’.

These were approved in 2013 in conjunction with the conversion of the buildings at Cavil Head Farm into 11 residential units.

As well as the affordable homes, a legal agreement will be signed to secure a contribution of £39,600 for first/primary education and £600 per home towards ecology.

• Outline plans for 20 more homes in Seahouses look likely to get the go-ahead today – but with a number of conditions attached.

At this afternoon’s meeting of the county council’s North Northumberland Local Area Council, members are recommended to approve a bid for a housing development on land south-west of St Cuthbert’s Close, off Main Street, in North Sunderland.

The scheme, which was first unveiled to the parish council in November 2016 before the application was submitted in May, has sparked 24 objections from residents while the parish council has highlighted a number of concerns which would prevent it from supporting the bid.

But while planning officers recommend granting planning permission, there are a number of conditions attached over and above the requirement to provide 15 per cent of affordable housing on site (three homes).

A section 106 agreement to be signed would also mean that all the dwellings must be used as principal residences and the developer would have to provide a contribution towards education of £35,200 as well as £600 per property for the management of protected areas.

The proposals were previously due to be decided at the committee’s December meeting, but the item was withdrawn from the agenda late on by the county council for more work on these proposed obligations for the developer.

This application is not the first time that a permanent-residence condition has been used on the north Northumberland coast, as it was also a requirement on the approved outline scheme for 45 homes on land south of Kennedy Green in Beadnell, by the Northumberland Estates, back in January last year.

• The parish council has raised a series of objections to proposals for 10 new homes in Bamburgh which are recommended for approval today.

The scheme for six single-storey dwellings and four two-storey properties on land next to The Friars on the north-western approach to the village, off Radcliffe Road, goes before the North Northumberland Local Area Council.

Last month, we reported that plans to build nine homes – a mix of two, three and four-bedroom – had been submitted, but it was subsequently amended to 10, to include two affordable units.

The parish council points out that the development is outside the Bamburgh settlement boundary, as well as concerns about flooding and ecology. 12 neighbours have also lodged objections.

• A bid, by the Northumberland Estates, for the change of use of land, demolition of modern agricultural buildings and the construction of 20 dwellings, including three affordable homes, at Lucker Hall farm steading.

The scheme is recommended for approval at this afternoon’s North Northumberland Local Area Council meeting.

Adderstone with Lucker Parish Council has not objected, but has made a number of comments. There have been nine objections and 17 letters of support.

• For the second time in three months, the rare situation in which a parish council is in support of a scheme that’s recommended for refusal has arisen.

At the December meeting of the county council’s North Northumberland Local Area Council, members commented on the strange occurrence as they refused a bid for five holiday cottages, on land south-west of Carterside, in Whitton.

It was recommended for refusal by officers, based on its location in the open countryside, and a majority of members backed this call, but the parish council had supported the scheme and spoke in its favour at the meeting.

At the committee’s meeting this afternoon, Whitton Parish Council is once more at odds with planning officers due to its support for plans for a three-bedroom home to the north-west of East Newton Cottages, also on Carterside Road.

As before, the recomendation of refusal is based on its open-countryside location.

• Plans to remove the coach park in Berwick less than a year after it opened are being recommended for approval.

An application to convert the four-bay facility on Chapel Street into a 15-space car park goes before Northumberland County Council’s North Northumberland Local Area Council later today.

Planning officer David Laux writes: ‘Since the opening of the coach park, the county council has received concerns from local residents relating to the impact on the local area and quality of life. The local MP has also expressed concern.’

Local county councillors and Berwick Town Council are supportive of the move and there have also been eight letters of support.

However, there have also been five objections and Berwick Chamber of Trade believes it is detrimental to coach tourism.