Homes rejected over open-countryside location

The proposed site at Blue House Farm to the west of Bedlington. Picture from Google
The proposed site at Blue House Farm to the west of Bedlington. Picture from Google

Outline plans for new homes in the open countryside to the west of Bedlington have been thrown out by councillors.

The application, for up to 11 detached, two-storey houses on land north-west of Blue House Farm, Netherton Colliery, was turned down at Wednesday’s (November 21) meeting of the Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council, where it had been recommended for refusal.

In line with the planning officer’s advice, the bid was rejected as the site is outside any settlement boundary and therefore in the open countryside.

The other two reasons were that the proposal would cause substantial harm to the setting of the grade II-listed Blue House Farmhouse and that it had ‘failed to address concerns in regards to highways safety and parking provision at the site’.

West Bedlington Parish Council had objected on the grounds that it was outside the settlement boundary, while one neighbour, who lives to the south-east of the proposed site, had raised concerns regarding overlooking and construction traffic during the build phase.

However, when pre-application advice was sought last year, the response from the council planners was ‘mostly supportive of the principle of development on this site’.

The report to councillors explained that this was at a time when the council could not demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land, while the current situation, following an updated survey, is that the authority can demonstrate a 12.1-year supply.

This means this means that the ‘requirement for new homes does not become the dominating factor in the decision-making process’.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service