Northumberland farm conversion creating five new homes is set for approval

Plans to convert a farm steading into homes could get the go-ahead next week as the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council returns.

By Ben O'Connell
Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 5:49 pm

Meeting for the first time in more than six months on Monday, October 12, the committee is recommended to approve an application to convert traditional stone agricultural buildings into five properties at Field House Farm, about 500 metres south-east of Hepscott.

When the application was first submitted in September 2019, the original proposals included four new-build houses as well as the conversion works.

The new-build properties were dropped from the bid towards the start of this year.

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County Hall.

Most of the converted units would have some two-storey elements, but none of the five are completely two-storey and one is fully single-storey. Four would have four bedrooms and the other one would have three bedrooms.

A design and access statement with the application explained that ‘some of the buildings were in use until recently, but the majority have been redundant for many years’ and that ‘there is an excellent opportunity to preserve the interesting character of this substantial collection of buildings’.

However, the scheme has been opposed by Hepscott Parish Council, Morpeth Town Council and 27 residents, while one letter of support has been lodged.

The main concern relates to access, based on the narrow road where cars are forced to park on both sides and the ‘complicated’ junction with the village main road (C132). The parish says that these issues still remain despite the amendment to remove the four new-build houses.

The single letter of support suggests that there would not be a problem as the lane ‘already accommodates traffic and large vehicles can still pass through’.

Following assessment by the council’s highways team, the planning officer’s report concludes: ‘Based on the minor number of dwellings proposed as part of a conversion scheme, mitigation in place for construction vehicles and acknowledgement of the existing vehicles that already use Field House Lane, it is not considered that there would be a severe impact to highways safety.’

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