Plans approved for

Detailed plans for a development of 72 homes in Wooler, described as an ‘exciting investment in the town’s future’, have been given the go-ahead.

Friday, 21st June 2019, 15:05 pm
The site of the proposed homes to the north of Weetwood Road in Wooler. Picture from Google Maps

The reserved matters application, for land north of the B6348 Weetwood Road, was unanimously approved by the North Northumberland Local Area Council on June 20 and follows an outline permission granted in 2016.

Ascent Homes, the house-building arm of the county council-owned company Advance Northumberland, is now set to start next month on the construction of 27 two-bedroom bungalows, 10 three-bedroom bungalows, 10 two-bedroom terraced houses, 19 three-bedroom homes (all but one semi-detached) and six four-bedroom detached properties.

Seven of the two-bedroom bungalows and four of the terraced dwellings would be affordable homes.

Approval was moved by Coun Jeff Watson, who said: “I’m happy to see the affordable housing and the right affordable housing; we don’t need four-bedroom affordable homes, we need smaller ones.”

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Coun Trevor Thorne added: “I do find this an attractive application. When have we had an application before us with such as high proportion of bungalows?

“Developers won’t build them because they are expensive, but they are attractive for elderly people and they also make good starter homes. I think we are really delivering for the community of Wooler.

“As regards design, I find it a little bit lacking, but that’s just a personal view.”

The outline bid was originally submitted back in 2013 and approved by councillors in November that year, subject to a section 106 legal agreement to deliver 30 per cent affordable housing.

However, the agreement was not signed ‘due to unavoidable circumstances which left the applicant without professional advice at that time’.

The application, by Gerald Dickinson, was returned to committee in January 2016 and was given the green light once more, this time with a legal agreement for 15 per cent affordable housing in line with policy at the time.

Ascent Homes then submitted the full application in September last year, with additional delays while initial concerns from both the council’s flooding team and the Environment Agency were allayed. Wooler Water runs alongside the site to the west.