100 homes to go ahead in Longframlington after developer wins appeal

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Another housing appeal in Longframlington has been successful, meaning almost 100 homes have been given the go-ahead in recent months.

A planning inspector has approved an outline application for 40 homes on a site at the northern end of the village, to the south of Lightpipe Farm, which had twice been turned down by councillors.

At the August 2018 meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council, planning officers had recommended approval of the scheme, but members disagreed, refusing the application by eight votes to zero (with one abstention) and saying that part of the village should not be ‘sacrificed’ to gain upgrades to the A697/C106 junction.

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The site of the proposed homes in Longframlington.The site of the proposed homes in Longframlington.
The site of the proposed homes in Longframlington.

The committee had refused the bid on the grounds of over-development, adverse character impact and the benefits of the junction upgrade not outweighing the environmental impact.

However, Mr Baxter concluded that the proposal ‘would not have a harmful effect on the character and appearance of the surrounding area’ and that there was ‘no overriding evidence’ of a ‘significantly harmful environmental effect on the area’.

The reason that he still dismissed the appeal was only because a completed section 106 legal agreement was not submitted, which is why a second application was lodged.

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Come last November’s meeting of the local area council, an agreement had been signed and councillors were once again recommended to back the scheme.

However, it was only a ‘minded to approve’ recommendation, as an appeal for non-determination – not dealing with the application quickly enough – had already been submitted.

This meant the final decision was out of the hands of the local authority, although the committee voted by three votes to one, with one abstention, to refuse the scheme on the same grounds as before.

But the inspector on the most recent appeal, A McCormack, concluded that the ‘that the benefits of the proposed scheme would clearly outweigh the harm identified relating to character and appearance, the wider environment’.