Homes are left unsold

In response to Mike Roberts, managing director of Barratt Homes North East (News Post Leader, July 17,) I would like to make the following comments.

He states that ‘the development will bring much needed family housing in south east Northumberland and will generate significant benefits for New Hartley’.

There is a glut of new housing currently in Seaton Delaval which is not being sold.

There are also a large number of properties both for sale and rent in the village which cover a wide range of prices and opportunities.

Residents are still having difficulty selling these properties so where is the demand for more and what is exciting about another 286 ‘Barratt boxes’ to blight the landscape?

The ‘significant benefits’ to the village will be negligible amd will be negated by the road safety issues generated by the extra traffic that will come with the development, not to mention the dirt, noise and disruption to the people in the village.

Barratt’s are not proposing to add any amenities to the village which would reduce the need to travel by car.

Their contribution of £350,000 towards sports and children’s play provision is only included because it is a standard planning obligation placed upon any new development.

In any event it is worthless if as a result young people’s lives are put in jeopardy because of the increase in traffic.

They also do not mention that they have withdrawn all the affordable housing on the development.

Does this now show profit over providing housing to those that really need it?

Similarly their ‘underpinning of 414 jobs as a result of the development’ will not see new jobs being created.

They will simply keep the workforce that exists and which will probably not come from within the village itself.

They also state that they are creating a seven-acre wildlife zone for residents to enjoy, but fail to mention that one already exists - created by the local farmer for which he won an award.

Nowhere in the plans submitted have they said how they propose to develop and manage this area.

He also says they held two public exhibitions from which they have taken comments on board before finalising their plans.

Their exhibitions, rather than considered public consultations, focused more on showing off Barratts homes rather than engaging with the community and taking on board their concerns.

Barratts representatives at these meeting were unable to answer the most obvious of questions.

If the exhibitions had been conducted more professionally, then the villagers in New Hartley would not have gone back and sought the council’s backing to have another meeting with all concerned before the planning decision is made.

Mrs Christine Barrell

New Hartley


Business will not benefit

I write with concern at the article ‘Developer says 286 new homes will be of benefit to village’ (News Post Leader, July 17).

I read with interest the comments of Mike Roberts, managing director of Barratt Homes North East.

If Barratts’ true intentions were to provide much needed housing in the area, then why is it they removed ‘affordable housing’ (albeit only 26 homes) from their application?

There are lots of family homes currently up for sale in the village, who exactly are going to buy these extra houses?

To say Barratts has taken on board people’s comments before finalising the application, really?

Would this be the initial application submitted to Northumberland County Council whereby it was stated ‘New Hartley was within easy walking/cycling distance of Hull’?

Following this error being pointed out in objections lodged with the council, Barratt Homes made further changes to the application, needless to say this probably won’t be the last amendment.

So as for ‘finalising’ the application this statement makes a mockery of the system.

And the comment stated that the proposed development would provide a seven-acre wildlife zone for residents to enjoy, we already enjoy a 27-acre wildlife zone.

Barratts would effectively be decreasing the wildlife zone and endangering species such as great crested newts.

Any development of this size is likely to be totally detrimental to the wildlife.

Furthermore, I fail to see how there would be increased expenditure for local businesses.

This village has a post office and a convenience store, a pub and a club.

The owners/proprietors of these businesses are unlikely to benefit significantly, if at all.

Perhaps Barratt Homes should go back to the drawing board.

Andrew Brennan

New Hartley