Detailed plans published for homes at Northumberland haulage yard site

Detailed plans have been lodged for 35 new homes in the countryside between Morpeth and Ponteland.

Saturday, 31st October 2020, 12:53 pm

The reserved matters application relates to the redevelopment of Goodwills Wood Shavings and Haulage Yard, at Shilvington, by Alnwick-based housebuilder Cussins.

It follows an outline application which was unanimously approved by the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council in October 2019.

The scheme would comprise four two-bedroom homes, two three-bedroom houses, 21 four-bedroom properties and eight five-bedroom dwellings. The two and three-beds would be semi-detached, while the others would all be detached.

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Looking towards the site in question

Whalton Parish Council had ‘objected strongly’ to the proposal at the outline stage due to its location in the green belt, with no access to services other than by car.

However, the key in this case was that the site is previously developed, or brownfield, land.

The most recent update to the NPPF – the national planning rulebook – offered greater support for the housing redevelopment of brownfield land, ‘which contribute towards affordable housing provision and which do not result in substantial harm to openness’.

In this case, six of the homes in the development would be affordable and planning officer Richard Laughton felt that there would not be substantial harm given the ‘unkempt appearance’ of the site.

In his report to the October 2019 meeting, he concluded: ‘While the application site lies outside of a settlement boundary in open countryside and is not readily accessible to local services for pedestrians and public transport users, the proposal would not result in encroachment into open countryside.

He added that the proposals ‘present an opportunity to improve the visual appearance of the site and secure the removal of a potential bad-neighbour use’ in terms of an industrial site close to existing homes.

The application explained that due to the deteriorating nature of the buildings and the prohibitive cost in bringing them back up to industry standard, planning permission would enable the relocation of the business and jobs to the Hexham area and ‘secure its future in a more appropriate area for industrial use and access for heavy goods vehicles’.

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