‘Let the people decide where to put houses’ urges councillor

Councillor Helen Walklett at the site of proposed housing in Rothbury.
Councillor Helen Walklett at the site of proposed housing in Rothbury.

A parish councillor has called for plans for a major housing development in her town to be removed amid concerns for the proposal.

Coun Helen Walklett raised concerns at last week’s meeting of Rothbury Parish Council of ‘major oversights’ in the plans.

Northumberland Estates plans to build 57 homes on land south of Lordenshaw Drive and Silverton Lane/Garleigh Road.

Coun Walklett claims there is an ‘omission’ in the plans for 17 of the 57 homes that are to be built on Silverton Lane which is opposite two ‘important community facilities’ which she claims are ‘not accurately represented’.

She said: “The applicant’s map fails to show the entrance to the swimming pool car park which is all but opposite the entrance to the proposed development.

“I think we should be concerned that during the six-week public consultation period [which has now ended], the information supplied was in places inaccurate or incomplete.”

In addition to Coun Walklett’s concerns, The Stategic Housing Land Availability Assessment found that the two pieces of land which are proposed for development ‘would require the re-alignment of the B6342’.

Coun Walklett said that the Rothbury area had ‘over-delivered’ in the Local Plan but Northumberland Estates says the plans are ‘in line with the Local Plan and will contribute towards delivering housing and social objectives in the coming years’.

A spokesman for Northumberland Estates said: “We are happy with progress with the application and have had a lot of interest in the housing, the affordable part of which will be offered first to local people.

“Dealing with matters arising out of the consultation process is a normal part of the planning application procedure but we have no significant concerns at this time.”

Dr Thomlinson Middle School in Rothbury has also issued advice to parents after residents raised parking and road safety concerns with Coun Walklett.

She said that the middle school had advised parents ‘in an attempt to ease congestion around Silverton Lane’.

The council will now contact Northumberland County Council for futher advice so that the ‘consultation would be re-opened and re-publicised to allow everyone the opportunity to comment on the full facts.’

A county council spokesman said: “All material planning considerations will be fully considered, with the input of relevant internal and external consultees including any letters received from third parties. This will form part of the process in reaching a conclusion and recommendation on this proposal.”