SCHOOL: Irreplaceable ‘green lung’

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During the controversy over the proposed development of the Duke’s School in Alnwick one important aspect has gone all but unremarked: the provision of access from Swansfield Park Road.

We have been told that this won’t matter much as it will “only” mean the loss of “about 12 trees”.

But a road for vehicles and pedestrians accessing 85 residential units will do irreparable damage to the ecology.

The southern part of the Duke’s School field was specifically recognised in the Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Plan as an area which should not be developed, except in very special circumstances, because of its unique character and link to other green spaces.

No special circumstances have been advanced.

We find it difficult to understand how Northumberland County Council planners could suggest to developers such a breach of the planning principles they are meant to uphold.

But that is not all. The Duke’s School field is the last significant green space close to the historic centre of the town. Once this ‘green lung’ has gone, it cannot be replaced.

If this development does take place, along with all the others proposed, perhaps Northumberland Estates should adopt a new mission statement: We pave Paradise and put up parking lots.

Alan and Jill Waton,

Swansfield Park Road,

Alnwick