Green light for hundreds of homes in Amble

The site of the proposed homes with James Calvert Spence College in the background.
The site of the proposed homes with James Calvert Spence College in the background.

Plans for up to 500 new homes in Amble were given the go-ahead by councillors tonight.

The outline application, for land to the south and south-east of James Calvert Spence College, off Acklington Road, was recommended for approval at Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee meeting and was voted through by eight to zero with two abstentions.

The scheme had previously gone before the July meeting, but members voted by 10 votes to three to defer the decision for a site visit, largely due to concerns about the site having only one access, on a busy road which has a number of other residential accesses as well as the school sites.

The council’s highways team said that the application is acceptable, following the addition of new measures, which would be subject to a legal agreement, including a new estate road junction serving the site, the widening of Acklington Road to accommodate a ghost right-turn lane and a pedestrian refuge' new bus stops on Acklington Road, together with lay-bys and shelters, improved footway/cycleway connections down toward the school entrance and the relocation of the 30mph limit south-westward along Acklington Road plus new gateway features.

As part of a connectivity plan, the applicant had also recently indicated that the estate’s through-road could be extended along the approximate line of a possible Amble bypass, meaning the potential for a link to the A1068 in the area from the Percy Drive roundabout down to the Hauxley Lane junction.

The council’s highways officer Chris Thompson said that while there was not the evidence to oppose the scheme with the one access on Acklington Road, given the mitigation works, he would like to see a link road developed.

With this in mind, councillors added a condition that the developer should extend the road to the edge of the land in its control, while council officers will continue discussions with the adjacent developers – who submitted outline plans for up to 166 dwellings on land north-west of Hauxley Moor House in May – in the hope of facilitating this connection to the A1068.

While the approval is for an outline bid and will need to be followed by a reserved-matters application with the details, it is indicated that the site would comprise around 180 four-bedroom properties, 210 three-bedroom houses, 40 two-bedroom dwellings and 75 two and three-bedroom affordable homes (15 per cent of the total development).

The affordable homes – 50 of which would be for social rent and 25 for sale at discount market value or shared ownership – would be secured via a section 106 legal agreement and as part of this, contributions to education, healthcare, sport and play, and ecological mitigation in Amble will also be considered.