The Northumberland road dubbed 'like somewhere in the Middle East' by councillor

Another plan for new homes in the rapidly expanding hamlet of Medburn has been given the nod, despite ongoing concerns about the state of the road.

Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 4:36 pm
The Avenue, through Medburn, is a major source of concern.

The outline application for eight detached houses and garages on land north of Orchard House, off The Avenue, was approved by seven votes to one at meeting of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council.

The site is next to land where new houses are under construction, while another nearby plot is subject to a proposal to build 13 properties.

Ponteland Town Council and 10 individuals had objected to the development on the well-rehearsed grounds of Medburn being unsustainable and the impact on the narrow and already damaged The Avenue.

However, the site is also near to two others where planning permission was refused by Northumberland County Council but recently granted on appeal – one on land north of Dyke House and the other an outline bid for up to 16 new homes on land between Tynedale and Dyke House.

In both cases, Northumberland taxpayers had to pick up the bill for the applicant’s legal costs.

Speaking at the meeting, applicant Ian Graham explained that his family have owned the plot since the 1950s and have ‘probably had land there longer than any of those behind the previous developments and people who have come lately’.

Coun Richard Dodd, who described The Avenue as ‘like somewhere in the Middle East’, asked if there was anything which could be done with the damaged road.

Planning manager Liz Sinnamon replied: “I’m sure there is a way of breaking the knot, but it’s not through the planning process. That’s because it’s a private road.”

She said the Land Registry shows a lot of people own some of the road, which comes with maintenance responsibilities, and it would be up to those residents to come together to find a way forward.

The committee reluctantly accepted the recommendation for approval.

Coun Dodd said: “It’s groundhog day, it’s another Medburn application. If we refuse it, it would come back from the inspector with a bill.”

Coun Veronica Jones, the only member to vote against the scheme, said: “If it’s refused, it will succeed on appeal, but it’s just not right.”