No need for new builds

As a resident of Holy Island, I am writing in response to your article in the Berwick Advertiser last week about the sale by Northumberland County Council of half the land at Green Lane car park, as a development plot.

Saturday, 8th April 2017, 08:00 am
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 21:30 pm

I would like to stress that there are a number of issues that should be addressed in relation to this land sale.

To date, all planning proposals in or near to the village have been refused (except for social housing) on the grounds that this is a conservation area and it lies within the Northumberland Coast AONB.

How then can NCC now make a decision that it should sell this land outside the current village perimeter, as a development plot?

There is no justification for new-build houses on this plot. The land is outside the current village perimeter and already 55 per cent of village properties are holiday homes.

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NCCs Core Strategy for AONBs in Northumberland Policy 31 (amended 2016) states: “In plan-making and when assessing development proposals in and around the AONB, particular considerations will include:

i. Need to sustain and, where appropriate, enhance:

ii. A sense of remoteness, wildness and open views.

iii. A clear distinction between settlements and open countryside.”

Clearly, the sale of this land for development by NCC contravenes their own Core Strategy and their commitment to protect the AONB.

Development here could only blur the distinction between the village and the open countryside, and would not sustain the sense of remoteness, wildness and open views.

This development would set a precedent for further development outside the village. Where would this end?

Half this land was farmland that was purchased more than 40 years ago by NCC to fulfil parking needs.

How can this sale now be justified? With the increasing number of visitors that come here, the car parks are regularly full to overflowing, causing havoc during busy times when coaches have to park on the narrow lanes nearby.

Will NCC purchase more farmland for parking, thereby further encroaching on the open countryside?

Lesley Andrews,

Holy Island village resident