DEVELOPMENT: Debate the facts, not hearsay

A plan of the proposed new estate at Grange Road in Shilbottle.
A plan of the proposed new estate at Grange Road in Shilbottle.

Re: Decisions costing us thousands.

With reference to the above, and as a long-standing Shilbottle resident, it is quite clear facts have become rather distorted, hence the comments made by your reader.

The planning submission was rejected on the grounds of flooding.

Flooding incidents in the village including the unacceptable instances of foul waste running down roads due to the under capacity of the existing foul water system for existing housing stock, let alone the burden this development would bring are all well documented.

This was, as correctly stated by your reader, rejected against the advice of the ‘professionals’ at that time.

Had the writer availed themselves of the facts when it was rejected they would have known that foul-waste tankering off-site was proposed as a solution to the inability to handle foul waste directly from the development.

The fact that the flood risk assessment showed Shilbottle somewhere near Cramlington and hence the assessment being based on incorrect data was another fact leading to the decision to reject the application at that time.

Maybe the writer believes that this tankering of foul waste and the use of incorrect data are acceptable reasons for the North Area Planning Committee to pass the proposal without challenging the ‘professionals’ who at the planning meeting were unable to answer questions raised on these matters.

The fact that one of the reasons used to justify claiming expense by The Northumberland Estates for the appeal costs against NCC was based on the NCC passing an affordable housing development in Shilbottle in 2014, based on foul waste going into Northumbrian Waters systems.

In reality, it was passed on the provision of the development incorporating a private sewage treatment works (PSTW) because even in 2014 doubts as to the capacity of the village sewage treatment works were in doubt. Clearly an error the planning inspector failed to spot when awarding costs. NCC have the ability to challenge this. We await their challenge.

It is good to have debate on these matters but the facts need to be known and discussed not from hearsay but on documented available information.

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