Appeal lifeline for homes plan
Published at 07:41, Wednesday, 11 September 2013
PLANS to build seven new homes on green belt land at the west end of Hedley on the Hill have been thrown out.
But applicant Ray Graham has been handed a potential lifeline by a member of Northumberland County Council’s west area planning committee.
Coun. Colin Horncastle, of Allendale, advised Mr Graham to appeal against the committee’s decision to refuse the application, because development had previously been approved on green belt elsewhere in the area.
Speaking at last Wednesday’s meeting, Coun. Horncastle said there was still hope for the scheme, on land north of Hedley Hill Farm, which had received the backing of Hedley on the Hill Parish Council, to go ahead.
He said: “Our job is to look at the officer’s recommendation, and the recommendation to refuse permission here is the right one because we can’t go against our policy.
“I suggest you do the same as the previous applicant and go for an appeal. It’s the same as a site at the east end of the village.”
After hearing from a resident objecting to the scheme, who claimed the area should instead be used for recreation space for children, Coun. Ian Hutchinson, of Haltwhistle, said the houses should not be allowed.
He added: “It is against our policy to build on greenbelt land. There are no special circumstances to allow this. It is a field in the countryside and refusal is the right decision.”
The application was for seven two-storey houses on the 0.4 hectare site, which was previously used for agriculture, fronting onto the C259 road which runs through the village.
The proposals included seven three-bedroom houses, each with a garage, and two possible access routes. One option was a shared driveway along the southern boundary of the site, and the other was for each house to have separate access from the road.
Despite the location, the application received 11 letters of support, and only two objecting to the scheme.
Mr Graham said the houses would be enclosed by high trees, and would cause “no harm” to the green belt.
He said the development would address a shortfall of housing in the district, and would “round off” the village. In addition, it was supported by the community.
Mr Graham added: “I am a retired GP from Stocksfield and have lived in Hedley for more than 40 years. I am not a developer, and if these houses were built I would move into one myself.”
Objectors, however, said a housing increase in Hedley would be “inappropriate” for a village of its size, and could lead to parking and access problems.
Planning officer Jenny Green said: “We take the view that this is not rounding off. I don’t think the previous application sets enough of a precedent that we should approve this proposal for the green belt, which is contrary to regional and national policy.
“The parish council has not said why it supports the scheme.”
The recommendation to refuse the application was passed after being proposed by Coun. Hutchinson and seconded by Ponteland’s Coun. Mrs Eileen Armstrong.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk
This week in... 1949Friday, December 9, 1949...
A workman was buried alive while digging a drain in the Prudhoe Urban Council's housing estate at Oaklands.
Workmates rushed to the aid of 50-year-old Richard Barclay, of Stocksfield, when the wall of the trench he was digging collapsed.
They managed to dig his head and shoulders free before finally pulling him from the earth. He was found to be suffering from shock and bruising.