Tweaked housing plan is booted out

Allerburn House.
Allerburn House.

A revised bid to transform the former HQ of Alnwick District Council into housing has been rejected by councillors – despite officer recommendation to approve it.

A previous application for 20 homes – including newly-built properties and a conversion of Allerburn House and the nearby lodge – was approved in 2016.

But Ascent Homes wanted to tweak the scheme, which included demolishing ad-hoc extensions to Allerburn House and building 14 units, including six three-storey townhouses.

Essentially, the new scheme featured 18, rather than 20, homes in total.

The scheme attracted objections from residents and the town council, and last week, county councillors voted unanimously to refuse it.

Planning committee chairman Coun Trevor Thorne said that the new townhouses would be ‘really up tight’ to Allerburn House, which would ‘take a lot away from a heritage asset.’

Coun Robbie Moore said it was not completely consistent with the Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Plan and would impact on residential amenity, while Coun Gordon Castle preferred the original scheme.

Neil Turnbull, of Ascent Homes, has since said that the company is considering whether to appeal or not.