Duke of Northumberland's appeal against refusal of housing plan is successful
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The Planning Inspectorate has ruled that Northumberland Estates, the Duke’s property arm, would be allowed to build the homes on land south of Broomhouse Lane in Prudhoe.
The controversial plans were twice refused by members of the Tynedale Local Area Committee earlier this year.
The bid was initially refused in February, only for the application to be reheard after a councillor who left the room during the discussions proceeded to vote on the plans in a breach of planning procedure. The plans were then refused again in March despite warnings there were no planning reasons to refuse the application.
Coun John Riddle said the decision was “crazy” while Coun Derek Kennedy said the developer would “take the council apart”.
Northumberland Estates duly launched an appeal in August and the planning inspectorate has now ruled that permission should be granted.
It is understood that the council will not face paying the full costs of the appeal, after an application for the award of costs was refused. Speaking after the decision, the area’s ward councillor Gordon Stewart thanked residents for their support.
He added: “I worked with many residents over months on this application and I was openly opposing it. I know people have been anxiously awaiting the result.”
Green councillor Nick Morphet proposed refusal at the planning meeting on the grounds of a lack of information on housing need in Prudhoe, the loss of amenity for residents of Tilley Crescent and a lack of information on sustainability.
In the planning inspectorate’s report by Susan Hunt, the inspector said she was “satisfied with the applicant’s evidence and justification for the proposed housing mix” and added that the reason for refusal was “not adequately substantiated by the council” and that this amounted to “unreasonable behaviour”.
Furthermore, Ms Hunt wrote that it was “unclear” why the lack of information on sustainability became a reason for refusal, and that the council was again unable to substantiate its reasons. This, according to the report, again amounted to “unreasonable behaviour”.
However, the loss of amenity for residents of Tilley Crescent was “adequately substantiated”, leading to the inspector imposing “conditions which would assist in mitigating any effects”.