Controversial access road proposal in Cramlington denied planning permission by councillors
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Barratt Homes had applied for permission to link its new housing development in Cramlington with nearby Langdale Drive for a temporary period of two years. The overall housing site is set to deliver 715 new homes, accessed via new road off Beacon Lane.
The development has been split into several sites, each being constructed by a different developer. Because Barratt Homes is building homes on their patch quicker than neighbouring Keepmoat, a set of 90 homes will be completed before the access is available to use.
Barratt therefore requested permission to link the development to Langdale Drive. Speaking at the meeting, Barratt’s planning manager Amy Ward said: “We cannot take residents through the Keepmoat site due to safety concerns.
“The Langdale Drive Route is for residents only. Pedestrian safety is of paramount importance to us.”
However, Cllr Barry Flux, who lives on Langdale Drive and is the county councillor for the Cramlington West ward, called on his colleagues to refuse the application.
He said: “I am very disappointed that it is here. In my mind, the highways impacts are large enough for this to be refused.”
32 members of the public had also objected to the plans, as had Cramlington Town Council, citing nuisance to Langdale Drive residents, road safety concerns, and fears the temporary route will become permanent.
The application was recommended for approval by council planners. However, members of the Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council felt that the applicant had not sufficiently demonstrated how it would keep walkers and cyclists using a right of way in the area safe.
The proposed route would see the road cross the path, known as Linslade Walk, which is well-used by members of the public, including children.
Despite conditions which would not have allowed the road to be built without the developer demonstrating how the crossing would be safe, members felt uncomfortable granting permission.
Cllr Wayne Daley said: “I cannot go to the public and say I am going to support something, but I do not know if it is going to be safe or if it is going to work. That is unacceptable to me.
“It would be putting the people going to buy houses ahead of those in the community. I am extremely uncomfortable about this.”
Councillors voted to reject the plans by four votes to two. Cllr Flux did not take part in the vote.
Speaking after the meeting, he said: “The committee have made the right decision for the residents of Beaconhill and I am glad they listened to that large level of concerns that local residents have.
“The proposed road crossing over a cycle path and close to a school with views obscured by the garage block would be an accident waiting to happen.”
The application was previously deferred by the committee after members felt they could not find a valid planning reason to refuse it, but a site visit prior to the meeting left them uncomfortable with the safety arrangements for the right of way.