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PLANS: Meeting the local needs

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In response to your correspondents Mr and Mrs Devine (Northumberland Gazette, September 20), I would like to explain the thinking behind the plans for new homes which Karbon has put forward for the village of Hadston.

We have submitted plans to build 14 affordable homes on land between St John’s Estate and Simonside Crescent.

This project was only put forward after considerable thought and research to ensure that what we were proposing met local needs.

There is an established demand for the mix of homes we are proposing, and we have been encouraged that many local residents have recognised the need for more social housing in the village.

We understand that house building proposals will not please everyone and will have an impact on neighbouring residents, but we have done our best to minimise their impact.

We looked at different approaches to the site and considered submitting plans for a larger number of homes, but we did not believe that was appropriate, given the character of the site and the village.

What we have proposed is relatively low density in house-building terms, and we have been careful when drawing up our proposals to leave one corner of the site without homes to maintain an open aspect and allow for the (very rare) incidence of flooding in the area.

We have also designed the development to allow pedestrian access from north to south so neighbouring residents from Simonside Crescent will still be able to access the shops and amenities in Hadston Road.

A total of 24 parking spaces would be provided for the 14 homes.

One key reason for proposing the use of this site, in particular, is that we own the land so we can afford to develop it for affordable homes.

Karbon Homes is a not-for-profit housing association and we have to ensure our development projects add up economically.

If we needed to acquire a different site from a land owner, the project would probably not be viable and we would not be able to provide these new homes for the Hadston community.

A local lettings policy will apply to these homes, meaning that local people from the parish surrounding the site will have priority to apply.

While comments on the application closed yesterday (Wednesday), we are committed to listening to the community’s views and will be holding a consultation event in Hadston on Wednesday, October 17, from 4pm to 6pm, in Hadston House.

All are welcome to attend to give their views, and the event will be fully publicised in advance.

Our planning application will be considered by Northumberland County Council in due course, and we will work with it to answer any queries raised.

We can vary our application in response to comments received.

Vince Walsh,

Development Manager Karbon Homes