DEVELOPMENT: Park is not a '˜settlement'

I write with reference to the article concerning the planning application to build luxury housing within the heart of Bedlington Country Park at Humford, (News Post Leader, May 19).

Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 6:18 am
Bedlington Country Park.

I read with incredulity the claim by Strutt and Parker, the agents for the applicant, that, ‘the proposals cannot be described as development in the open countryside as the sites are located within a settlement of its own right’.

Historically, Humford, a tiny hamlet, consisted of only two houses on two separate sites – the old swimming bath’s house (formerly for Bedlington water works) and the mill house, which is owned by the applicant.

The applicant then converted an old barn into another house.

Now he wants to build two more additional houses, thereby changing the historic two dwellings at Humford into five, more than doubling the dwellings in this peaceful, countryside location.

The agent’s claim that the proposed site is a ‘settlement of its own right’ has no credence unless the applicant is granted permission for the new houses and turns Humford into an over-developed ‘settlement’, which I believe will completely destroy the beautiful, unique character of Humford.

People do not visit Humford to visit a settlement. They go to enjoy the countryside and its wonderful wildlife, including the highly endangered red squirrels, which are known to forage on both the proposed development sites.

The character of Humford will be diminished irrevocably by the addition of these houses.

I find Strutt and Parker’s comments ridiculous.

We need to protect this lovely location.

A Pattison