PLANS: Village wants a meeting

I am writing in response to your article on the proposed housing development at Westfield, Longhoughton, (Northumberland Gazette, October 1).

Your report includes Northumberland Estates planner Mr Munden’s statement from July this year about the presentation made to the village that “the majority of those attending were extremely supportive of the scheme”. I have to say that we found the contrary.

Many residents were not happy about the proposals and found various problems as regards access to the site and the continued stress on the infrastructure of Longhoughton village, which has already had five developments over recent years, and also problems with the site itself.

As the application has now gone in for outline planning approval, we have been able to access the surveys and reports.

Those who live closest to the site received letters from Northumberland County Council asking for any response. Having read through the reports, these residents have found various issues and have raised concerns, which can be found on the council’s website. The flooding and drainage report, for example, was of great concern.

As yet, our parish council does not appear to have arranged a public meeting for all residents of Longhoughton to be able to come together as a community in response to the proposed development.

To that effect, I have e-mailed the parish clerk requesting a public meeting and to invite representatives of the appropriate bodies to be in attendance for questions and comments. We would expect to see at least a representative of Northumberland County Council, Northumbrian Water, the Environment Agency and Highways, as well as a Northumberland Estates’ representative.

Contrary to Mr Munden’s statement in July that there had been detailed discussions about the proposed site, the parish council as a whole said that this had not been the case.

It would be useful to know the outcome of a parish survey held in early spring as to the future development of the village, and in particular, residents’ views about further housing development, for as yet, six months on, we have heard nothing.

At the Northumberland Estates’ presentation there was a comments box and many people took the time to fill in responses at length.

Perhaps at a public meeting both the results of the survey and the comments box might be discussed, together with an open discussion with representatives of the various bodies.

R Barclay-Kim,