Estates withdraws new housing plan

Plans to demolish key properties in a village conservation area and replace them with new homes have been withdrawn by the developer.

Northumberland Estates had submitted an application earlier this year to build 20 properties in place of four existing cottages in Lesbury.

The post office would also have been pulled down and replaced with a purpose-built alternative on the new estate.

But the scheme was condemned by residents, while the parish council unanimously objected.

And there was anger when the Gazette revealed that the Estates had lodged a full planning application a week before it staged a public consultation event at the village hall.

That application has now been withdrawn, to the delight of villagers.

Carole Southam, who runs the post office, said: “There were 400 signatures on a petition against this plan, not only from local people but from those who pass through Lesbury regularly and come here on holiday.

“Nobody could make any sense out of why the Estates would want to rip the heart out of this traditional Northumbrian village.

“Now we feel that our voice has been heard.

“We expect that at some point in the future, there will be a new application, but the village is clear that any plans should not involve the demolition of properties on Main Street.”

No one at Northumberland Estates was available for a comment yesterday.