Fears over plans for housing in park area

An example of the greenery at Bedlington Country Park and Nature Reserve. More than 25 objections have been lodged over two applications relating to land near Humford Mill.
An example of the greenery at Bedlington Country Park and Nature Reserve. More than 25 objections have been lodged over two applications relating to land near Humford Mill.

Residents are being urged to have their say over proposals for luxury housing within the heart of Bedlington Country Park and Nature Reserve.

Two planning applications relating to land near Humford Mill have been submitted by Mr T Fisher. If both are approved, two large new homes would be built.

A group of people in Bedlington is raising awareness of them because they believe that a number of people who use the park will not be aware of these bids.

One concerned visitor to the park said: “If approved, these luxury homes, which are beyond the settlement limits of the town, will worsen access to this much loved attraction.

“I fear that the building proposals will have a negative effect on the existing Humford Mill building at the site – this dates back to the 1700s and is a vital link with the past.”

“We have concerns about the potential removal of at least six healthy trees and several metres of hedgerow to create the new homes.

“We also have severe doubts that retaining walls at the rear of one plot will be able to take the strain of a substantial new home.

“We feel that building on the western site could pose a potential subsidence risk to the public riverside path several metres below.”

In the design and access statement, agent Strutt & Parker says the proposals cannot be described as development in the open countryside as the sites are located within a settlement of its own right.

It adds: ‘We believe the dwellings match the character of the area and will help to retain the distinctive character present.’

The objectors hope both applications will be considered as a joint package by Northumberland County Council.

To see the plans online, go to the planning section of the council’s website and search using references 16/00565/FUL and 16/00566/FUL.