Draft plan should be less strict on homes and jobs

A plan showing the proposed site of the new housing at Greensfield.
A plan showing the proposed site of the new housing at Greensfield.
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No final decision has been made, but it was felt that the county council’s draft plan for homes and employment is too prescriptive in places.

At last Thursday’s meeting of Alnwick Town Council, meembers started looking at their response to the core strategy on housing, employment and the green belt, for which comments must be in by January 2.

The Willis site in Alnwick

The Willis site in Alnwick

Multiple issues are raised in the consultation, but the key aspects for Alnwick are the proposals for 1,000 new dwellings in the town up to 2031 and five more hectares of employment land.

Regarding employment land, the town clerk, Bill Batey, pointed out that a review had suggested up to 10 hectares is required if demand is proven over the long-term and suggested supporting a higher allocation than five.

On new homes, 1,000, or 50 per year, was the most popular level of growth in the consultation of Alnwick residents for the town’s neighbourhood plan.

But Coun Gordon Castle pointed out that the figures include all constructed or approved properties since 2010 so warned against being tied too tightly to an allocation of 1,000.

The draft document also states that the south of the town should be the site for 500 homes, but the neighbourhood plan team has already identified areas to the east of Allerburn Lea and West Acres, which could also be used.

l Members also agreed a response to the consultation on the proposed new super-depot for county council services at Lionheart Enterprise Park, which would include a new fire station.

The town council supports the construction of the new fire station, ‘particularly in relation to community use and the retention of the Young Firefighters’ scheme’.

It adds that the current station ‘occupies an important site in the town and the Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Plan Team will welcome discussions regarding potential future options for the site’.