Road fears impact on homes bid

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Councillors are to visit the site of proposals for nearly 40 homes in Blyth before making a decision, following concerns about traffic outside a school.

Northumberland County Council’s development arm, Arch, has applied to build 38 residential units, including two, three and four-bedroom houses, two-bedroom bungalows and two-bedroom apartments, on the site of the former Blyth Valley Venture Workshops on Plessey Road.

The application was recommended for approval by officers and had sparked no objections, but at this month’s meeting of the council’s strategic planning committee, members voted narrowly to go for a site visit based on concerns about traffic, road safety and parking issues related to the nearby school.

The brownfield site’s northern boundary is Beatrice Avenue, where New Delaval Primary School is located.

The planning officers had advised committee members that those issues could be dealt with via conditions attached to the planning permission and the council’s highways officer had raised no objections subject to conditions maintaining and enhancing highway safety.

Coun Deidre Campbell, ward member for Newsham, explained that there were no objections to the actual development, but there were concerns about access to the school with residents asking for amendments to be made to the school access and highways before any development takes place.

Coun Dougie Watkin raised concerns about there being no affordable housing proposed for the site, with the usual requirement being 15 per cent. It is not recommended on this site due to viability issues.