A restriction limiting 10 new houses in Alnwick to two storeys has been removed – but the council is yet to approve the final design.
The removal of a condition relating to the height of the properties which have outline planning permission on land at Alnwick Castle Golf Club was approved at last Thursday’s meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council.
Nearby resident Peter Green highlighted his and his neighbours’ ‘strong objection and opposition’ to the change, because of the topography of the site, and claimed it would ‘set a dangerous precedent’.
However, planning officer James Bellis explained that the approval would simply remove the blanket restriction from the outline permission, but a decision is still to come on the detailed design of the 10 homes through the reserved matters application, which will also be decided by the councillors.
The reason for seeking the removal of the condition is that the developer, Lindisfarne Homes, is proposing one house type which would be two storeys with an undercroft garage.
Councillors were split on the proposal, voting by eight to four to approve the amendment.
Coun Georgina Hill said that members of the public and some councillors get fed up of this type of ‘drip, drip, drip’ and ‘mission creep’ by developers.
But Coun Jeff Watson, pointing out that Alnwick Town Council did not object to the specific house type, said: “We have to allow this condition to allow the proposed houses to come forward to make a decision on that.”
Coun Gordon Castle added: “I wasn’t in favour of the houses in the first place, but it’s a brownfield site.
“I would have recommended this for refusal if it wasn’t coming back to committee with the reserved matters for us to have a close look.”
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service