Voice of protesters fighting housing bids grows louder

Housing development at New Barns Court in Warkworth.
Housing development at New Barns Court in Warkworth.

Objection is growing against a swathe of housing bids for Warkworth by the Northumberland Estates – and an extraordinary meeting is being held on Monday to discuss one of the schemes for 50 homes.

Meanwhile, residents are being encouraged to apply for one of 27 new affordable properties which are being built in the village in a £3million development.

The Estates has submitted a plan to the county council for approximately six houses at land north of Hermitage Drive, as well as a bid for approximately 11 homes on land west of 30 Watershaugh Road.

The company also wants to build approximately 50 houses on land to the west of Guilden Road, which would incorporate around 15 affordable properties on the site.

The hat-trick of bids come hot on the heels of the Estates winning an appeal to build 37 homes on Morwick Road.

Last month, we reported that villagers had vowed to fight the three applications, describing them as excessive and over-development. Since then, a committee has been formed to lead the objections and a petition has been signed by more than 100 people.

And last week, Warkworth Parish Council voted – on majority decisions – against both the Hermitage Drive and Watershaugh Road applications.

Reasons included the detrimental effect on the character of the village and the cumulative effects of all of the proposed developments.

This Monday coming, the parish council is holding an extraordinary meeting to discuss the Guilden Road plan.

Meanwhile, an affordable housing scheme which was approved by county councillors last year and is being developed on land south of New Barns Court by Two Castles Housing Association and Esh Property Services under its Hadrian Development Solutions Partnership, is due for completion in early 2015.

Residents who live, work or have a connection to Warkworth must register their interest in the properties through the Northumberland Homefinder lettings scheme.

They will then be eligible to apply for one of the 27 energy-efficient homes via an online bidding process, open from Thursday, November 20, to Monday, November 24.

The scheme includes nine, two-bedroom and six three-bedroom homes, eight two-bedroom bungalows and four one-bedroom flats.

All of the properties will be available for rent through Two Castles Housing Association.

Rents for the scheme, part-funded by the Homes and Communities Agency with an investment of £550,000, will start from £91.38 per week for a one-bedroom flat, rising to £115.38 per week for a two-bedroom bungalow.

For help to register your interest, email diane.cooper@twocastles.org.uk, call 0800 085 1171 or visit twocastles.org.uk