Homes get extra garden space in Northumberland village after council land decision

A strip of land is to be changed from public open space to additional garden space for a row of homes in Red Row.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 20th September 2019, 12:40 pm
The parcel of land behind Grey Arms Court in Red Row. Picture by Ben O’Connell

The application, for land south of Grey Arms Court, Main Street, was unanimously approved at a meeting of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council on September 16.

The bid had not sparked any objections, but had to be decided by councillors as the land is owned by the local authority itself.

It forms part of ‘a green wedge, which separates the smaller community of Red Row from Hadston’, but the majority will remain as protected open space.

The change of use will involve a 45 by 10-metre parcel of unmaintained, overgrown land being changed to residential curtilage to serve five homes, with a 1.8-metre timber fence erected to the rear and between the five plots.

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The meeting heard that two of the properties had essentially already taken over this land, starting in 2011.

Planning officer Ryan Soulsby said that some trees had been felled on the strip in the past, but that no more would be coming down.

He also explained that the council’s strategic estates department has said that it is willing to sell the land to the homeowners.

Coun David Towns supported the application, but raised concerns about the legal implications of council land being occupied by others since 2011 – while accepting that these were not relevant to the planning decision.

“As an authority, we should be aware of these situations, because they arise all too often,” he said.

However, he added: “On a less grumpy note, allowing those gardens to be made bigger for the amenity of the families that live there is a good thing, but it should have been dealt with properly in the first place.”