New homes set for approval at Northumberland golf club site

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Plans to change the type of housing at a Northumberland golf club site should be given the green light, council planning officers have recommended.

Alnwick-based house-builder Cussins is seeking permission for 48 three, four and five-bedroom homes on land to the north-west at Burgham Park Golf Club.

A total of 27 people and Thirston Parish Council have objected as they believe this scheme would have a bigger detrimental impact than what has previously been given planning permission.

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Members of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council will make a decision on the proposal at a meeting on Monday.

Burgham Park Golf Club.Burgham Park Golf Club.
Burgham Park Golf Club.

In 2010, approval was granted for the expansion of the facilities including a new clubhouse, hotel, conference facilities, leisure club and driving range, as well as 50 self-catering holiday homes.

Then, in 2016, 14 detached homes were given the go-ahead but solely as an ‘enabling development’ for the wider project, which was known as Northumbrian Hills.

The new scheme follows the previous owner going into administration in November 2016, with Burgham Park Properties Ltd buying it out in March 2017.

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In a report to councillors, planning officers set out the key arguments.

It states Cussins’ reasoning for why the bid should be approved, including that the proposal has been reduced to 48 from 56 in the company’s initial plans and ‘would cause less harm to the openness of the green belt than the effects of development of the existing planning permissions because it is for a smaller footprint and volume than the fallback position’.

The report says it is ‘considered that there is a real possibility that the applicant would build out the original extant permissions should this application be refused’ and in recommending approval, officers say the current proposal would ‘have an improved impact upon the openness of the green belt than the extant ‘fallback’ permissions for the site’.

It also lists the objectors’ concerns, including that ‘Cussins arguing the previous granted plans were more damaging to the environment is nonsense.

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‘The fallback position is a concept that was more well thought out, building houses that matched the area and mixing in holiday homes, which would not overstrain logistical resources as they would not always be occupied.’

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