Controversial 45ft salt dome plans for Otterburn - row rumbles on over Northumberland depot proposals

A planning row is rumbling on over proposals for a 45-foot-high salt dome in a Northumberland village.

By Ben O'Connell
Monday, 24th February 2020, 5:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 11:23 am

The county council wants to build a new barn to replace its existing, open, road-salt storage bay at its highways depot in Otterburn.

A majority of parish councillors have now changed their mind on their opposition to the scheme, but their view is not shared by other objectors.

At its meeting in December, Otterburn Parish Council agreed unanimously to object to the application, which was lodged last September, due to the impact on nearby residents.

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Salted roads. Picture c/o Pixabay

The parish council had also opposed the local authority’s bid for a different barn back in 2016, which was later rejected.

However, following the submission of additional information by the county council, setting out mitigation measures and the fact that the Otterburn depot is the only feasible site for this facility, the parish council has now decided not to object, on a majority basis, although it has raised a number of points and concerns.

Resident Emma Anderson has also responded to the latest update, continuing to state that she believes the application is ‘flawed’ and writing: ‘While I acknowledge the effort made in preparing and providing this additional information, I am not particularly impressed with its content.’

Her comments conclude: ‘I do not accept that serious, far-reaching inquiries have been made to find an alternative location.

‘The negative effects on amenity, the detrimental effect of the proposed development on the character of the local area and the negative and adverse visual impact of the development are all against the application.

‘The proposed salt dome, through its excessive height and industrial appearance, would be harmful to the character of the residential area in which it would be located.’

A spokesman for the county council has previously said that operating winter services from Otterburn ‘is critical to effective treatment of roads in the large surrounding area and up to the Scottish Borders’, while stating that alternative locations which have been explored since the 2016 application have ‘a significant impact on response times in salting the surrounding road network’.