Green light for extension to village housing development

Cussins has been granted permission to build more homes to the north of its recent Creighton Place development in Embleton.
Cussins has been granted permission to build more homes to the north of its recent Creighton Place development in Embleton.

An initial attempt to refuse an extension to a new housing development in Embleton failed and the scheme was given the go-ahead.

Alnwick-based house-builder Cussins was behind the recently-constructed 39 properties to the north of the village, known as Creighton Place.

And at last Thursday’s meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council, members gave the nod for another 16 dwellings, to be accessed from the existing estate.

The proposals are for nine bungalows – four of which would be affordable – and seven two-storey houses.

A section 106 legal agreement would be signed to secure the properties as principal residences in perpetuity, so they could not be used as second homes or holiday lets.

These aspects, plus the creation of a landscape buffer to soften the edge of the village when viewed from the north, meant the extra homes were recommended for approval by planners.

But not all of the councillors agreed that it should go ahead, with local ward member Coun Wendy Pattison moving refusal on visual impact grounds.

However, this motion fell by seven votes to three with one abstention, before the proposal was approved by the same margin.

Coun Robbie Moore said: “This is different to some of the other applications, because the developer is going over and above.”

Coun Guy Renner-Thompson added: “The harm to the village was done when the original Creighton Place was approved and it created that harsh edge to the village.”

Earlier, the meeting heard objections from Paul Ashdown, on behalf of Creighton Place residents and other villagers, who described it as an ‘unsustainable, speculative development designed to sneak in before the neighbourhood plan is in place’.

Embleton Parish Council’s only concern was the access for heavy construction traffic, saying that Station Road is unsuitable for this traffic, but going through the existing estate would be ‘dangerous and difficult’.

However, planning officer Ragu Sittambalam explained that the applicant is now going to use a temporary access from Station Road, along which passing places would be installed.

Landowner Mark Bridgeman emphasised the advantages of this ‘extension of a very successful estate by a local house-builder’, which saw very strong demand for the affordable and market housing in the first phase.

As well as the principal occupancy restriction and the four affordable homes (25%), a section 106 legal agreement would also secure a 10-year management plan for the landscape buffer, a contribution of £48,000 for education and £9,600 for coastal mitigation contribution.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service