Plans to replace a north Northumberland car showroom and garage with nine homes is recommended for approval, despite more than 50 objections.
The application, for the demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of the new houses at Westroad Garage, on Rothbury Road in Longframlington, is due to be decided at Thursday’s (February 21) meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council.
The site, which is owned by Tustain Motors, was until recently used as a car showroom with servicing and accident repair workshops, as it has been for a number of years.
The proposal is for four four-bedroom properties and five three-bedroom dwellings, with three to be accessed from the existing entrance on Rothbury Road and the other six via a new access from the estate road of Cairn Park.
The elevations of the properties fronting Rothbury Road would have a stone fascia, with the remainder of the properties to be brick, however, the use of brick has led the council’s conservation officer to warn that the development would result in ‘less than substantial harm’ to nearby listed buildings.
Longframlington Parish Council ‘does not object to the principle of housing on this site’, but has major concerns in terms of the density, design and the layout routing most of the traffic through Cairn Park.
A total of 54 objections from residents have been lodged, raising a range of issues, including highway and traffic impacts, design, density, layout, impact on infrastructure, the lack of consultation and the loss of jobs.
However, the planning officer concludes that this ‘is considered a suitable location for new residential properties’.
His report to councillors adds: ‘It is acknowledged that there will be an environmental impact resulting from the introduction of further development to the area, although the social and economic benefits, as well as other environmental benefits, are considered to outweigh this.’
Longframlington has been the target for scores of new homes in recent years, with the parish council previously describing the village as ‘over-stretched’.
The latest major bid, for 58 dwellings on land at the northern end of the village, to the west of the A697, was submitted last September but has yet to be decided.
The site, which already has planning permission for 17 detached properties, is directly north of Cussins’ Fenwick Park development, which consists of a total of 63 houses across two phases.
This followed a decision by councillors in August to refuse an outline scheme for 40 new homes on the other side of the A697, on land to the south of Lightpipe Farm.
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service