Flooding fears are reiterated as appeal is lodged

A parish councillor has questioned whether residents will be able to obtain insurance cover for their properties, if a controversial scheme is overturned on appeal.

Last week, we reported that Northumberland Estates is seeking to overturn a refused bid for a development in Shilbottle.

The plan, knocked back by the county council’s north area planning committee last year – despite being recommended for approval – is for 47 homes, a doctors’ surgery and start-up business units at land south of Grange Road.

Residents’ concerns focused heavily on the issues of flooding, foul water and sewerage from which the village already suffers.

In the light of the appeal, Shilbottle parish councillor, Paul Burns, said: “The site has known flood run-off issues and the planning committee rejected the scheme because they had concerns as Shilbottle floods.

“Flooding in the village, including the unacceptable instances of foul waste running down the roads due to the under capacity of the existing foul-water system for existing housing stock, let alone the burden this proposed development would bring to the village, are well documented.

“Should the appeal be upheld, will existing, let alone future residents of this scheme, be able to obtain insurance cover for their properties? This scheme puts extra capacity on an overburdened and flood-hit village.”

Colin Barnes, from the Estates, said: “Our engineers have been working with the council to ensure that any new development does not add to the flooding problem.

“The system which has been designed will remove surface water from the foul sewers, intercept water which currently runs off unimpeded from the fields and provide additional storage on site.”