Northumberland homes scheme approved on appeal

An artist's impression of the homes at Grange Road, Shilbottle.
An artist's impression of the homes at Grange Road, Shilbottle.

Controversial housing plans, which had been opposed by hundreds of residents in a north Northumberland village, have been approved on appeal.

The Northumberland Estates has this week been given the green light for its bid for almost 50 new properties on land south of Grange Road in Shilbottle.

A plan of the proposed new estate at Grange Road in Shilbottle.

A plan of the proposed new estate at Grange Road in Shilbottle.

At the September 2013 meeting of Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee, councillors sided with residents who had objected to the scheme. Planners had recommended giving the nod to the proposals for 47 new homes, a doctors’ surgery and start-up business units.

The application sparked 43 objections and two petitions – one of 133 names and another with 250 names, collected by the parish council, against the development.

Addressing the meeting, residents of the village, which has seen large developments at Farriers Rise and Tyelaw Meadows in recent years, focused heavily on the issues of flooding, foul water and sewerage from which Shilbottle already suffers.

Despite the assurances offered by county-council officers and the testimony of a drainage expert, members failed to see why work to improve the sewerage and water system could not be dealt with prior to any development.

Then, in April last year, we reported that the Northumberland Estates had chosen to fight that unanimous decision by lodging an appeal, which has now been upheld.

Planning Inspector Mark Caine concluded that ‘adequate arrangements would be made for the disposal of foul and surface water from the site, and that the proposal would not be at risk from flooding or increase flooding elsewhere’.

Northumberland County Council was also ordered to pay the Estates’s costs, as ‘there were no reasonable grounds for refusing the application in the first place’.