Decision put off on plans for car park

Seaton Sluice Community Centre.
Seaton Sluice Community Centre.

USERS of a community centre are waging their second campaign in a matter of months against a new house being built on its car park.

Seaton Sluice Community Association has a 25-year lease on the site from Lord Hastings, but the peer has sold off a piece of its car park to a resident of the village to build a house on.

An initial application for planning consent for a house there was rejected by Northumberland County Council eight months ago because of the modern design proposed and its proximity to a conservation area.

Planning officers say a reworked proposal is acceptable, but councillors have declined to make a decision until they have visited the site.

The council’s south east area planning committee, at its meeting at Blyth’s Isabella Centre last week, voted to defer the matter.

The application has sparked 18 letters of objection and one of support with seven signatories.

The parish council opposes the application, saying it would be overdevelopment of the site and would lead to the loss of parking spaces, as well as being too close to the community centre and out of keeping with the area.

Parish councillor Bob Watson, a member of the Institute of Traffic Engineers, said drivers already faced potential hazards there because of cars parking on the narrow road.

Community association president Liz Vuyk said the house would block light to the community centre, also home to the village library, and overlook its garden.

Planning officer Phil McCarthy said: “There will be an impact on light in the community centre, but there is always a judgement to be made as to whether an impact will be unacceptable.”

The reworked house plan had a narrower frontage and details had been changed so it was respectful of properties in Collywell Court, the meeting heard.

Members supported Coun Tom Brechany’s motion to hold a site visit.