Former school to be demolished for homes

.The former St Cuthbert's RC First School in Amble is to be demolished to make way for new homes.
.The former St Cuthbert's RC First School in Amble is to be demolished to make way for new homes.

Plans for a housing scheme on the site of a former Amble school have been approved by Northumberland County Council.

Northern Coastal Developments Ltd has secured permission to demolish the former St Cuthbert’s RC First School, on Links Road, which closed in 2014, and build six three-bedroom bungalows and seven three-bedroom town houses.

The application had been deferred at the September meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council for more information on why a contribution for off-site affordable housing would be provided, rather than on-site affordable housing.

Officers explained that there were 989 homes pending in Amble and a significant number of these would be affordable. It was also felt affordable homes would not sit well within the context of the detached, high quality homes planned on the ex-school site.

Amble Town Council and 23 residents objected but, subject to the resolution of some highways issues and the signing of a section 106 legal agreement, officers recommended approval.

Coun Jeff Watson, member for Amble West with Warkworth, proposing approval, said: “I am always disappointed to see the real number of houses we are inflicting on Amble. We’re going to double the size of it. In the next couple of years, it’s going to be bigger than Alnwick.

“But I am a realist and I don’t see anything in planning terms that allows us to stop it. I do think it is sad we are losing a school when we are increasing our population.”