Plan for 30 homes gets the green light

Councillors have given the green light to 30 new homes on the outskirts of Berwick.

Monday, 2nd July 2018, 8:32 am
Site of proposed homes behind the industrial estate.

The application, for a development between East Ord and Tweedmouth, was recommended for approval at last Thursday’s meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council.

The scheme, on land west of Greenwood, off Cornhill Road, proposes four semi-detached, two-bedroom homes; 12 semi-detached, two-bedroom bungalows; six detached, three-bedroom houses; six semi-detached, three-bedroom properties; and two detached, four-bedroom dwellings.

The proposed site is directly adjacent to land where 30 homes were approved on appeal after being refused by the county council. Construction on this site is due to start in the next few weeks.

Ord Parish Council had objected to the bid due to its proximity to Simpson’s Malt and Tweedside Trading Estate, and additional pressure on over-subscribed first schools and GP surgeries.

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The county council’s housing team requested 15 per cent affordable housing to be provided on-site, while contributions of £39,600 for education (Tweedmouth West First School is 94 per cent full) and £15,600 for GP facilities were also sought.

However, none of this will be required as part of the approval, because ‘the application has been independently assessed in terms of viability which has concluded that the imposition of planning obligations would render the scheme unviable’.

Coun Trevor Thorne said: “It’s already been more or less decided for us given that the other site was approved on appeal.

“It’s a shame that although we are delivering the houses, we are not delivering anything with it.”

Coun Georgina Hill added: “We do need this type of housing. But I know how tight the school budgets are and even £5,000 would be a big help if the developer could do it out of the goodness of their heart.”

Coun Guy Renner-Thompson said there was no reason to refuse it, adding: “It’s long been a field where I have wondered why there aren’t houses there.”

The proposal was passed by 10 votes to zero with one abstention.

Meanwhile, an application for seven detached homes on land west of Station Road in Embleton was refused in line with officer recommendation.

The applicant’s planning consultant, Rod Hepplewhite, described it as ‘a travesty’ but it had sparked 51 objections from neighbours, the parish council and neighbourhood plan steering group.

Parish council chairman Terry Howells said: “It’s the wrong houses in the wrong place with absolutely no need for them.”

The planning officer had concluded that the development would represent ‘an incursion into the open countryside’ and ‘impact upon open views over the surrounding countryside which are afforded from the site’.

Ben O’Connell

Local democracy reporting service