Plans in for new home in Northumberland green belt

Plans have been submitted for a new home in a settlement in the green belt to the south west of Morpeth.

By Ben O'Connell
Sunday, 13th September 2020, 6:00 am

Declan Malone, owner and operator of N1 Golf, is seeking outline permission for a single house on land known as Archers Field, next to the T-junction in Tranwell Woods.

A covering letter with the application states that Mr Malone wants to move to the area and live near his business, following ‘a high level of investment which has been undertaken at the golf centre, including refurbished facilities, a clubhouse extension, the provision of a retail golf store, the installation of an adventure golf course and a recent proposal for tourism accommodation adjacent to the centre which is currently being further developed’.

The site for the house already has vehicle access and, while surrounded by woodland in the main, is open to the west which would allow internal access from the property to the clubhouse and other facilities.

Tranwell Woods was the subject of a five-year planning saga over a bid for a new home, on land west of Bramblings, which was approved three times only to be quashed in the High Court, before being turned down in April last year.

The site history actually goes back more than three decades with bids for planning permission being refused in 1989, twice in 1999 – with one appeal dismissed by an inspector in 2000, in 2008 – dismissed on appeal in 2009, and in 2013.

After the most recent outline application, for a single-storey, detached, five-bedroom house, had its approval quashed at judicial review for the third time, Northumberland County Council decided to challenge this in the Court of Appeal, but that was thrown out in July 2018.

Then at the April 2019 meeting of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council, members followed the planners’ latest advice to reject the application.

The site is in the green belt and the whole saga hinged upon the fact that the application could only be acceptable if it represented ‘limited infilling in a village’. While not specifically defined, the 2009 appeal ruling suggested that a reasonable test of infilling was that it represented a ‘gap in an otherwise developed frontage’.

In relation to the new application, agent Craig Ross states that ‘it is considered that the proposed development would constitute limited infilling in a village’, noting that in the judicial review challenge, ‘the Judge considered that whether a proposal constituted infill development was a planning judgement’.

He adds: ‘In this respect, it is the applicant’s judgement that the proposal can be considered infill development given that the site is positioned adjacent to other residential properties’.

Mitford Parish Council and five neighbours have objected so far.

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