Housing plans for north Northumberland village refused by planners

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Plans for new homes in a north Northumberland village have been refused by council planners.

Rock Estate had lodged an application to build four new homes and carry out an upgrade of private roads, provide new parking and bin stores on land north of 9-23 Rock Village.

However, the scheme has been turned down by Northumberland County Council planning officers using delegated powers.

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A report by senior planning officer, Jon Sharp, concludes: “In general terms the principle of new housing within Rock would be in accordance with the first and second objectives (economic and social) of sustainable development.

Rock Village.Rock Village.
Rock Village.

"However, the proposal represents an incursion into the open space provided by the garden land which separates the highway from the former estate cottages, by a piecemeal development that would not respect the character of the surrounding area.

“This would represent an inappropriate form of development, which would impact negatively upon the character of this part of the settlement of Rock and would be at odds with the environmental objective of sustainable development.

"The benefits of the additional housing would not outweigh the harm caused to the setting and character of the Rock Conservation Area or the nearby listed buildings.”

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Building conservation officer Ros Kain reported: “The development would be harmful to character and appearance of Rock Conservation Area due to the total loss of undeveloped medieval burgage plots, historically associated with the estate cottages to the south, and would tip the balance towards the urbanisation of this estate hamlet, resulting in irreversible harm to aesthetic and historic significance.”

Rennington Parish Council had raised concerns than the new housing would become second homes or holiday lets.

The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) also expressed fears about the impact it would have on the character of the village and the conservation area.

Rock Estate had been keen implement improvements to its existing, rented housing stock.

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It had planned to upgrade an existing, private track that serves existing dwellings, providing parking and improving outdoor space by improving the gardens and providing storage and bin stores.

The existing site consists of seven Grade II listed buildings but no works were proposed to the dwellings themselves.