Homes plans include more Alnmouth Station parking

Northumberland Estates' plans include 60 houses in area 1, near the station, and 40 homes to the north of Lesbury (area 2).
Northumberland Estates' plans include 60 houses in area 1, near the station, and 40 homes to the north of Lesbury (area 2).

Two new housing proposals have been lodged for Lesbury and Hipsburn, which also include road improvements and additional parking for Alnmouth Station.

Northumberland Estates has put forward plans for 60 homes near the station, with a new junction at Curly Lane to improve access to it, alongside an additional parking area to accommodate another 80 vehicles.

Artist's impression of homes planned for Lesbury by Northumberland Estates.

Artist's impression of homes planned for Lesbury by Northumberland Estates.

A new bus service would also use this parking area, providing a drop-off and collect service to the station.

Twenty per cent of the homes would be affordable and a new pedestrian access would link directly to the station.

This part of the plan seeks to address the long-standing issues faced by residents and rail users at the station caused by a lack of parking facilities, said the Estates.

It sees the station as a key asset for north Northumberland and the proposed development ‘seeks to help secure its long-term future and as the gateway to the area’.

The second proposed development to the north of Lesbury would be smaller, around 40 new homes, of which 20 per cent would be affordable.

The development would include two, three and four bedroom houses as well as bungalows, with the aim of offering a range of new housing suitable for families, young couples and the elderly, in addition to affordable housing to assist local people in getting onto the property ladder.

The development would also include a community area whose use has yet to be decided. Suggestions include open green space, play facilities or a community orchard.

This would be connected to the village centre through a network of new footpaths with attention paid to retaining existing landscaping features and introducing additional tree planting.

These proposals follow on from the pre-application inquiry for 150 homes, reported in the Gazette in August.

That set out a vision for the wider area and included a bypass to the north of the village, but ‘after much discussion with Northumberland County Council and Lesbury Parish Council’, the scale of the development has been revised to this much smaller area.

The new plans are being prepared alongside the publication of the Lesbury Parish Neighbourhood Plan and follow discussions with both parish and county councils.

While the Neighbourhood Plan does not include these two sites for development, Northumberland Estates is promoting them as important for the long-term future and benefit of the parish of Lesbury and for north Northumberland in general, given the importance of Alnmouth railway station to the area.

Guy Munden, from the planning department at Northumberland Estates, said: “One of the major issues facing north Northumberland is that of an ageing population, closure of local services and schools, and the lack of affordable housing, particularly for younger people.

“We are seeing this in many rural communities and it is an issue which needs addressing as without new investment and development, the situation can only get worse.

“Communities such as Lesbury, Hipsburn and Alnmouth are particularly vulnerable as the existing housing stock is attractive to the second home owner and we know this to be increasing in the area, further eroding the sense of local community.

“The project would require significant investment by Northumberland Estates, which it hopes will bring much long-term benefit for the local economy and for the area through improved transport links and a diversity of new housing provision.

“By working closely with those living in the area throughout the planning process, we aim to deliver a high quality development which will enhance the area as well as contributing to the sustainability of services and amenities for the long term.”

The Estates is aiming to submit an outline planning application for each site shortly, but, in the meantime, it is inviting further constructive feedback from residents via the consultation website at www.investinginlesburyparish.co.uk