At last Tuesday’s meeting, members of the county council’s planning committee felt that their hands were tied as a very similar scheme for a new property on the site had been allowed on appeal after being refused by councillors.
There were actually two new applications before the committee, but the only real difference between the two was that one had a detached garage. And neither bid was substantially different to the already-approved plans.
Philip Ashmore, from Hepscott Parish Council, spoke against the proposals, saying that ‘not enough credence and weight’ was being given to the new Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan; that the scale and size of the building was unacceptable; and that it represented ‘unacceptability by stealth’ as the applicant had submitted a variety of schemes, all with small changes.
Coun Trevor Thorne reluctantly moved approval for both schemes, saying: “I have a lot of sympathy with the objectors.
“I was a member of the previous planning committee that had a site visit, scrutinised it very carefully and we thought it was a very large house for this estate.
“We put all the arguments forward, but since then the application has been to appeal and has been allowed.
“Our suggestions and comments have obviously been overturned.
“The approval for a big mansion house on this site was given at appeal.
“Our concerns were overturned and I feel the small additions aren’t substantial enough to turn it down.”
The two applications were approved by nine votes to two.