Backing for bid to build houses

VILLAGERS have called on councillors to reject their officers’ advice and approve plans to build new homes on an old mining site.

The proposal by plant hire firm MJ Hickey and the Armstrong’s scrapyard, also known as Linton Auto Dismantlers, is to build up to 43 houses in Linton on part of the former colliery yard.

No letters of objection have been submitted, and 12 villagers have written to planners in support of the application as they believe it will benefit their community.

A public consultation exercise on a previous application attracted more than 80 positive comments.

However, Northumberland County Council planners are recommending that the application should be refused, saying nothing has changed since a bid for a similar scheme was rejected in January last year.

They say the land is allocated for employment, residents of the proposed homes would face being inconvenienced by noise and dust, and there is not enough detail of how affordable housing would be provided.

Pat Caldow, a Linton resident for the last 29 years, is among those in favour of the plans.

She said: “The reasons the council is giving to refuse the bid are a load of rubbish.

“It says that there’s going to be noise problems, but how does it think we have lived over the years?

“We’ve had opencast mining here, and it’s not been a problem.

“MJ Hickey will move its operations on this land to another part of their site, and Armstrong’s can move its Linton workers to its Newcastle site, so no one is going to lose their job.”

She added: “New housing will be a boost for the village first school, shops and institute, and it will also bring new amenities.

“We have no gas at the moment, so if more people come to Linton, we will eventually get it installed.

“People of all ages support the application as we all want to see the village progressing for the better.”

A decision on the application was due to be taken by the county council’s south east area planning committee last month but has been postponed until its meeting on Tuesday, June 21, at the request of the applicants.