Now that the Windy Edge development has been approved, although we have no wish to refight a battle we have sadly lost, we do feel a need to set the record straight.
Firstly, Colin Barnes, of Northumberland Estates, accuses us of a “tirade of criticism and attempts to undermine the professional judgement” of Highways officers, (Northumberland Gazette, September 6).
Even those councillors in favour of the proposal remarked upon the entirely professional way in which we had carried out our campaign.
Ironically, most of our correspondence with officers was an attempt to correct the statements and omissions in documents issued by Northumberland Estates.
Having sought our own professional advice, we were surely entitled to express a different opinion to that of the council’s officers.
We still feel that an “impartial” process, in which officers have frequent verbal and written exchanges with the developer, but refuse to meet even once with rate-paying residents to hear their concerns, is seriously flawed.
With regard to the siting of 25 houses outside the agreed and adopted boundaries in the Neighbourhood Plan, we feel that this sets a dangerous precedent, which we believe will surely be exploited by developers in the future.
If some of the land inside the boundary was considered unsuitable, the obvious solution was to build fewer houses in the first phase.
Last, but certainly not least, our concerns over the safety of the access road remain unallayed.
Peters Mill Lane is being increasingly used for access to the new BMX track by young cyclists and their parents travelling from far outside the town – this is a new factor in any safety assessment.
We sincerely hope that our fears are misplaced, but only time will tell.
Secretary, Alnmouth Road and Allerburn Lea Residents Association