Go-ahead for 800 homes on two sites

The two sites are to the east and south-east of Wansbeck General Hospital and west of the A189 Spine Road.
The two sites are to the east and south-east of Wansbeck General Hospital and west of the A189 Spine Road.

Two outline bids for 800 new homes in Ashington, across two adjacent sites, have been given the green light.

The planning applications, both by Persimmon Homes, were approved at last week’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee.

The first site, for up to 600 homes, is for land between the Wansbeck General Hospital site and the A189 Spine Road.

The second site, for up to 200 homes, sits to the south of this, to the east of North Seaton, off Summerhouse Lane.

In both cases, committee members were only minded to approve the schemes, subject to a response from Highways England once it has completed its transport assessment looking into the impact of the proposals on the strategic highway network, in particular, the A189/A19 Moor Farm junction to the south.

Also for both proposals, a section 106 legal agreement needs to be completed to secure affordable housing as well as significant contributions towards the likes of schools, healthcare and outdoor sport/play areas.

For the 600-home site, there would be a total of 90 affordable houses required; 36 of these will be two and three-bedroom properties, sold at a discounted market value.

However, the 54 homes for social rent would not be provided on the site, rather a contribution of £810,000 will be made for off-site affordable housing, ‘as care needs to be taken to not provide affordable housing that will compete with the current available stock’.

Coun Dougie Watkin raised this issue at last Tuesday’s meeting, but was told that this requirement was based on the advice of the county council’s own affordable-housing team.

On the 200-home site, all 30 of the required affordable homes would be provided on the site itself; 20 will be sold at a discounted market value and 10 will be for social rent.

The section 106 agreement will also provide for a contribution of £125,000 for improvements to the A189/B1334 Ashwood roundabout.

Members were concerned about the multiple access points into the site and this will be looked at again.