Plans for 'elegant town houses' in 'cool, edgy' Amble approved despite heavy objections

A bid to build seven new modern homes on the way into Amble has been given the green light, despite a petition against it with hundreds of signatures.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 11:49 am
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 1:06 pm

Hindmarsh Homes has received permission for a ‘high-quality and inherently sustainable’ set of two terraces on the current site of Artique antiques store and café, formerly the Marina Arms pub, on the A1068 as you enter the town from Warkworth.

The application, which includes the demolition of the existing building and the loss of the business located there, was approved by seven votes to zero, with one abstention, at a meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council on January 23.

The proposals had sparked just three formal objections, but also a petition against the scheme featuring 382 signatures.

Artist’s impressions submitted as part of the planning application.

Speaking at the meeting, objector Jacqueline Wood claimed that the design was ‘not in keeping with the current residential properties’ and aimed ‘to maximise the footprint’.

She also highlighted that the loss of Artique ‘removes a commercial hub and meeting place used by the whole community and visitors’ and which employs 12 people and hosts another 44 small businesses.

However, the scheme’s architect Craig Van Bedaf stated that the ‘existing commercial business at the site is not viable’ and that the ‘property has been running at a loss for some time now’.

The meeting also heard that concerns about flooding had been allayed, while the council’s highways officer said that the single access is an improvement and that seven homes are expected to produce less traffic than the current use.

Artist’s impressions submitted as part of the planning application.

Moving approval, Coun Terry Clark, the ward member for Amble, said that the demolition ‘is a shame’, but it will be replaced by ‘smart, elegant townhouses’, adding: “I don’t believe it will have a noticeable impact.

“These will be desirable dwellings, I just wish I could afford one!”

Coun Jeff Watson, who represents Amble West with Warkworth, was not in attendance, but had also indicated his support.

Seconding the motion, Coun Gordon Castle said: “I’m sorry to see the loss of businesses, but this is an application I can’t find grounds to refuse, it’s part of Amble’s growth.”

Coun Trevor Thorne added: “I do feel Amble is on the move, it’s cool, it’s edgy, I do feel this will be a nice gateway feature to the town.”

Each four-bedroom house will have a three-storey main building facing onto the A1068 with a single-storey section to the rear connecting to an attached garage. The properties will all have a sheltered courtyard area at the back as well as outdoor terraces to the front and rear on the second floor.

Access will be from the existing, but improved, entrance on the southern edge of the site, off Riverside Park. Each property will have two parking spaces in addition to a garage, while the site would also feature visitors’ parking bays and a bin-collection area.

The approval is subject to the completion of a section 106 legal agreement to secure a £4,200 ecological contribution to the council’s coastal mitigation scheme.