Final approval for new homes at Alnwick golf club

The current golf club car park where 10 new homes are to be built.
The current golf club car park where 10 new homes are to be built.

Full planning permission has been granted for 10 new homes on land at Alnwick Castle Golf Club, with the final details approved last week.

The reserved matters application for 10 detached houses on the current car park and clubhouse site, off Hope House Lane, was given the green light by seven votes to four at last Thursday’s meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council.

An outline scheme, by the Northumberland Estates, was approved in December 2016, before Lindisfarne Homes submitted the full bid for four and five-bedroom homes in September last year.

At last month’s local area council, members agreed to remove a restriction on the outline approval limiting the new properties to two storeys, based on assurances that the final design had not been approved and would come before the committee for a decision.

The final design showed that the houses are generally all two-storey, but in technical terms, one house type is considered to be three-storey by virtue of the attached garage being slightly downslope of the main house.

A nearby resident, Steve Montgomery, raised concerns about discrepancies between the outline plans and this application, but councillors were told that it was acceptable for there to be changes as the previous layout was only indicative.

Planning officers had recommended the scheme for approval as they felt the design and layout in this latest application were acceptable.

Coun Robbie Moore moved approval, saying that given the outline approval, there wasn’t a ‘planning policy reason to hang our hat on’ to warrant refusal.

Coun Georgina Hill criticised what she called ‘mission creep’, which she had also highlighted at last month’s meeting when the height restriction condition was removed.

“I think residents are going to be very angry and I don’t want to facilitate that,” she added.

However, the application sparked just five objections from residents and was not opposed by Alnwick Town Council.

In July, plans for a new clubhouse, including car parking and an access road, were submitted to Northumberland County Council.

A previous proposal, for a new clubhouse and car park on land next to Greensfield Farmhouse, was approved in October 2016.

The latest bid is for an area of grassland to the north of the 12th green and east of Close Cottage on the Rugley Road.

It lies the other side of the golf course from the approved scheme and the under-construction housing development at Willowburn Park.

And in August, the local area council also approved a new greenkeepers’ store, a steel-framed shed, measuring 20 metres by 12 metres and to be painted dark green, which also has to move to free up the housing site.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service