Garage scheme thrown out

The Wesleyan Chapel in Alnmouth.
The Wesleyan Chapel in Alnmouth.

A proposal to build a detached garage near to Alnmouth’s former Wesleyan Chapel was refused last week, against the advice of planning officers.

At last Thursday’s first meeting of the new North Northumberland Local Area Council, the bid, for land at 1 Friary Gardens, had been recommended for approval.

However, Coun Jeff Watson moved refusal, based on the impact on the conservation area, and members voted by seven votes for four to throw out the scheme.

He said: “It will spoil the view of a beautiful Wesleyan chapel. Because of the lie of the land, it will be high. It’s a very large building in a very tight area.”

Coun Gordon Castle added that the impact on the chapel was a key consideration when the Friary Gardens development was originally approved.

However, Coun Anthony Murray said: “This development will not enhance that area, but I can’t really think of a good planning reason why it shouldn’t go ahead.”

The site is not in the conservation area itself, although it does border it, and the county council’s conservation officer said that the garage would ‘have a neutral impact when seen in the context of the overall development that already exists in Friary Gardens’.

The applicant Stuart Milligan told the meeting that his neighbours’ objections were based on losing a view, which is not a material planning consideration, adding: “We believe it will be an attractive building when viewed from the conservation area and the public area on the main road.”

One of the neighbours, Monica Aitken, also addressed the committee, emphasising the size and height of the building – 6.7 metres by 7.3 metres with a ridge height of 5.4 metres.