Developer will put forward new plan

Residents angry at controversial plans to build hundreds of homes in their village are delighted after the developers withdrew the application.

Concerns had been raised over plans by Barratt Homes to build 286 houses to the north east of New Hartley.

But on Monday, just a day before the plans were to be heard by Northumberland County Council’s south east planning committee, officials at Barratt withdrew the application.

However, a spokesperson said a fresh application would be submitted following talks with the council and residents.

Residents had raised concerns that the application was an overdevelopment of the site and would increase traffic problems, leading to more accidents.

Local resident Jerry Hayes said: “In August last year a young child was knocked over by a car close to the village centre, sustaining New Hartley’s unenviable record of one road traffic accident a year.

“Although Barratt said the site would generate 400 building jobs it was felt these were unlikely to benefit unemployed residents, on the whole.

“There was also economic damage through the loss of livery stables and associated services as owners removed their horses from the stable adjacent to the building site.”

Planning officers at the council had recommended the application be refused at the meeting on Tuesday.

In a report to the meeting, officers said the proposal failed to provide an adequate level of affordable housing, there would be an increase in traffic, the annual collision rate could reach an unacceptable level, while there had been no firm agreement over sports and play contribution, level crossing work, or management of the wildlife area.

There was also 172 letters of objection, a petition signed by 396 people plus objections from parish councillors, and Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell.

A spokesperson for Barratt Homes North East said: “We can confirm we have withdrawn the planning application for the New Hartley development and will be resubmitting the application shortly to enable further discussion and continue negotiations with Northumberland County Council.

“We are hoping we will reach an agreement that will satisfy all parties and bring much needed homes and jobs to the area.”