Residential park on site in conservation area is rejected

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A bid for a residential park in Whittingham featuring 12 lodges was rejected last week.

The scheme, for land west of Treetops, Callaly Road, a site which lies in the village’s conservation area, was recommended for refusal at the county council’s North Northumberland Local Area Council meeting and this was supported unanimously by members.

This is despite the fact that the site has permission for five homes.

Andrew Young, on behalf of the applicant, pointed out that the most critical response from a statutory consultee was the conservation officer saying it would cause ‘less than substantial harm’.

Questioned by members, planning officer Ragu Sittambalam explained that the less than substantial harm – a technical planning term – has to be balanced against the benefits of any scheme.

He added that in this case, given the likely tenure of a residential park, he doesn’t feel that it overrides the harm, although he conceded that originally he was preparing to recommend the bid for approval.

Coun Gordon Castle said: “Goodness me, it’s on balance, but I’m going to go with the officer recommendation.

“What’s been approved is better than what’s being proposed here.”