Vote on plans for Cramlington housing estate's temporary access road deferred after residents object

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A row over temporary access to a new Cramlington housing development is set to go on after a decision was deferred by councillors.

Barrett Homes had requested to build the road which would serve 90 dwellings on its new Cramlington site for two years while the new link road was under construction.

The developer has argued it is necessary for health and safety reasons, as without it prospective residents would have to travel through a building site to reach their homes.

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But residents have been up in arms about the proposal to use Langdale Drive to provide access. A total of 32 objections have been received, and the area’s ward councillor Barry Flux outlined their concerns at a planning meeting on Wednesday.

Langdale Drive in Cramlington, where the proposed access would be built. (Photo by Google)Langdale Drive in Cramlington, where the proposed access would be built. (Photo by Google)
Langdale Drive in Cramlington, where the proposed access would be built. (Photo by Google)

He said: “The 32 objections is far higher than there have been for any of the other applications for the site, many of which consisted of thousands of houses.

"Residents have consistently argued against any access via Langdale Drive.

“It has been a point made by me over the past 10 years. Good faith has been thrown back in the face of residents.

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“It could be here for decades, it could be here forever. The 24 month notice is not worth the paper it is written on.

“It is totally unfair to residents who have been very accommodating in not objecting to large planning applications.”

Planning manager at Barrett and David Lawson Homes, Amy Ward, argued it would be “unsafe” to bring residents through a construction site to get to their homes.

She also said that if the construction was finished before the end of the two-year period, the access would be closed and residents would be brought through the “primary road.”

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The plans were recommended for approval by council planners, but nobody was willing to put forward a motion to approve.

However, members could also not identify a material planning reason to refuse the plan.

Cllr Mark Swinburn said: “I am looking for a planning reason not to progress this. There are many issues I am really not comfortable with.

“It’s just finding what I can state as a planning reason to put forward a refusal.”

In the end, it was unanimously agreed to defer the decision in order for a site visit to be carried out.