Northumberland Estates thwarted for a third time in plan for Backworth Business Park

Northumberland Estates has been thwarted yet again and had its modified plans to erect 57 houses in Backworth Business Park rejected.
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Representatives of the Duke of Northumberland’s development company were hoping it could be third time lucky at North Tyneside Council’s HQ in Cobalt but councillors on the local authority’s planning committee rejected the application for a third time.

The major cause for concern has been, and remains, the impact the prospective homes could have on the nearby Keenan Processing Ltd facility. The factory operates from 4am and continues throughout the morning, or even earlier during busy seasons like Christmas.

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The firm’s representatives, R + K Wood, claimed it would not be fair on future occupants to be subjected to industrial noise. Keenan’s representatives also stated mitigation on the half of food processing firm could potentially lead to serious harm to the business.

Backworth Business Park, North Tyneside.Backworth Business Park, North Tyneside.
Backworth Business Park, North Tyneside.

Northumberland Estates claimed the new proposal only included six potential homes which could be subjected to noise from the plant. However, these dwellings, in which a bedroom or study would face the factory, would be fitted with one openable and one fixed window to help block out noise.

According to council documents: “The applicant considers their noise assessment has demonstrated good acoustic design in mitigating transportation and industrial noise levels.”

Northumberland Estates also claimed it was open to “appropriately worded” permission conditions.

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Since 2012, the firm has attempted to gain permission for a housing development of varying sizes on vacant land in Backworth Business Park. Twice before the property developer had applications rejected, it subsequently appealed both of the council’s decisions to no avail.

Councillors voted against the proposal, again, in a majority of nine to one.

Tory councillor for Cullercoats Ken Barrie said: “I won’t be supporting this application. I am not convinced at all that there won’t be complaints.”

Labour Valley councillor Tommy Mulvenna said: “I will not be supporting this. There are still issues, the main one being noise. It is very difficult to block out noise whatever you do.

“I have been to that site at 4.30am, a nearby resident called me out, and you could hear the noise quite clearly. It’s a nightmare waiting to happen.”