Villagers’ joy as controversial scheme refused

Villagers who have opposed a controversial and long-running bid for new housing are celebrating once again after fighting it off for the third time.

Objectors let out a huge sigh of relief last Thursday when Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee rejected plans for eight homes in Lesbury by an overwhelming 6-1 verdict.

Councillors booted out the scheme – recommended for approval by officers – on multiple grounds, including its layout and scale, and saying that it would have an ‘unacceptable, adverse and harmful impact on the village’s conservation area’.

The Northumberland Estates’ scheme, which included three affordable properties and earmarked for land between Down House and Old School House, on Riverside, sparked more than 20 objections from residents, as well as the county council’s conservation officer, who branded it ‘completely unacceptable’.

However, Lesbury Parish Council had voted in favour, albeit with some concerns which needed addressing.

At Thursday’s planning meeting, Coun Anthony Murray said that it was overdevelopment while a number of members believed the current scheme was very similar to the one which was refused last year.