Tweedmouth waterworks homes bid back before councillors

A reworked scheme for new homes at an old waterworks by the River Tweed – which was approved once before – is seeking the green light again this week.

By Ben O'Connell
Monday, 18 March, 2019, 14:40
The former waterworks building on Dock Road in Tweedmouth.

Northumbrian Water’s outline bid for 10 homes at its former waterworks on Dock Road in Tweedmouth was initially approved at last July’s meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council.

A number of councillors were unhappy about the lack of detail with it being an outline application, but the scheme was given the nod by five votes to zero with four abstentions.

However, updated plans were then lodged towards the end of last year, when issues relating to the use of an outline application to change the use of buildings were identified.

Therefore, the new bid is a hybrid one, seeking full planning permission for the conversion of the existing depot building into six apartments across two floors, involving an extension to the rear of the building.

But the new-build elements – four two storey, semi-detached properties, to be built to the south-east of the depot – are still in outline.

Notwithstanding the change, the outline element still ‘rang alarm bells’ for the area’s ward councillor Georgina Hill, one of those who had been dissatisfied last summer, when it went before the committee in January.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

She said that while she appreciated the purpose of outline applications in certain cases, she didn’t believe it was appropriate here as without the details of the proposed new-build homes, it was impossible to judge the impact on the conservation area.

The meeting heard that it was common for landowners to do this in cases where the site will be developed by someone else, to avoid tying the developer down to an already-agreed detailed scheme.

Nonetheless, Coun Hill moved deferring the decision for a site visit, which was unanimously supported by the other members.

The application is now recommended for approval once more, when it appears before the local area council’s meeting on Thursday (March 21) afternoon.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service