Appeal dismissed over rejected plans for new homes in Northumberland coastal village
A small development of new homes in a coastal village, which was refused last year, has now been dismissed at appeal.
The application, for seven detached houses on land west of Station Road in Embleton, sparked 51 objections from neighbours as well as concerns from the parish council and neighbourhood plan steering group when it was lodged in 2018.
It was unanimously turned down by the North Northumberland Local Area Council last June on the recommendation of the planning officers.
The reasons for refusal were that the scheme would be ‘an incursion into the open countryside’, which ‘fails to recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside’.
At a public hearing in July, planning inspector Jillian Rann set out that the main issue was ‘the effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the appeal site and its surroundings’.
“We feel this would go against the grain of development in the rest of Embleton, building on that side of Station Road,” Northumberland County Council planning officer James Bellis said at the hearing.
But Stephen Goodchild, a technical director at Fairhurst, which carried out a landscape assessment for the applicants, Mr & Mrs Robertson, told the inspector that a development of this scale could be accommodated on the site without significant impacts on the landscape.
However, in her decision notice, the inspector writes: ‘The development would significantly erode the feeling of openness and the sense of connection between the village and its rural surroundings which characterise this part of Station Road.
‘It would also represent an encroachment of built development into the open countryside, which would not reflect the existing character or pattern of development along this western edge of the village, and would appear discordant, to the further detriment of its character.’
Later in her decision, the inspector accepts that the development would contribute to the housing supply, with the residents supporting local services, and would create employment during the construction phase.
However, she concludes that ‘the adverse impacts of the proposed development would significantly and demonstrably outweigh those modest benefits’.
A separate costs application by Mr and Mrs Robertson was also refused, as the inspector did not feel the council had acted unreasonably.