Residents fight housing ‘overdevelopment’ in Amble

The planned housing at Amble's Coquet Enterprise Park.
The planned housing at Amble's Coquet Enterprise Park.

The companies involved with plans for hundreds of houses in Amble have claimed that the schemes would be phased over a period of more than a decade, amid concerns about overdevelopment in Amble.

Meanwhile, concerned residents have formed a steering group to fight the swathe of properties which are proposed for the town, which total more than 1,000.

Critics have claimed that The Friendliest Port is ‘under siege’ from developers and concerns have been raised about the cumulative impact that this amount of housing would have on the town’s infrastructure.

In March, Barton Willmore and Cheviot Holdings Ltd unveiled emerging plans for 275 homes at Percy Drive and approximately 190 on land west of the A1068.

At last Thursday’s Amble Town Council meeting, members said that they had met representatives from both companies and the discussions proved useful.

Coun Helen Lewis said: “I am encouraged that they want to work with local people and they have taken on board a lot of the concerns we had, which are similar to the ones that the community have.

“One of my questions was ‘will these houses be built in one go or will they be phased?’

‘They told us that as far as they are concerned, both sites would be started together, but phased over the next 14 to 15 years, up to 2031 – over the whole period of the draft core strategy.”

But Coun Jeff Watson was wary of this promise, saying it didn’t make commercial sense.

Clerk Elaine Brown added that formal planning applications for the two schemes are unlikely to be submitted until after the May elections and the committees have re-formed.

However, these aren’t the only housing schemes for Amble.

Arch and Trivselhus have lodged a plan for 51 homes at Coquet Enterprise Park, with a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses; one and two-bedroom bungalows and one and two-bedroom flats.

Hindhaugh Homes is involved in a plan for 500 homes to the south-east of Acklington Road.

Northern Coastal Developments wants to demolish the former St Cuthbert’s RC First School and replace it with seven three-bedroom bungalows and seven three-bedroom town houses.

Other developments include 48 approved properties in the Gloster Hill area, while the 250-home Coquet Grange development is not yet finished.

Figures read out at the town-council meeting stated that between October 2009 and October 2016, 383 houses have been completed or approved in Amble.

Northumberland’s draft core strategy identifies a need for at least 600 houses to be built in Amble between 2011 and 2031. Last Thursday, a group of locals, under the banner of the Amble and Surrounding Area Residents Action Group, met to discuss the amount of housing planned for Amble. A steering group has been formed and will meet shortly to discuss the possibility of calling a public meeting, as well as a way to tackle ‘the overdevelopment of Amble’.

○ Amble Town Council’s planning meeting is on Tuesday at Fourways 2 from 6pm. The plans for the St Cuthbert’s site and Arch’s enterprise-park scheme are on the agenda.