Plans have been lodged for a ‘lifetime neighbourhood’ of more than 300 homes and shops on the western edge of Blyth.
Applicants Mr and Mrs Ferguson are seeking outline permission for around 327 houses and 2,000 square metres of commercial floor space on land either side of Furnace Road in Bebside, to the north of the A193 Bebside Road and west of the A189.
The development would be accessed via three new junctions, one from Bebside Road and two from Furnace Road.
A planning statement suggests that the proposals would ‘bring about many planning benefits’, with around 50 of the homes expected to be affordable.
It adds: ‘The applicant is keen to provide a ‘lifetime neighbourhood’ which would provide a mix of housing to cater for different social needs.
‘The proposals would provide affordable homes; lower-cost units for those on low/medium incomes; mid-market houses for families; luxury homes; and retirement bungalows.’
The application also highlights that there would be economic benefits, with the construction work alone being a £24million investment over five years, sustaining 36 jobs in the industry.
The new housing would generate a net spend of around £3million a year for local shops and facilities, the report says, alongside council-tax income of approximately £500,000 per year.
It is expected that in the region of 20 permanent part and full-time jobs would be created through the proposed retail units.
Also in support of the bid, the application reports that following consultation with local residents and businesses, which included around 100 leaflets being delivered, only 13 written comments were received.
These raised issues such as potential excessive levels of traffic, concerns over the scale of development in the Blyth area and its impact on local infrastructure such as doctors’ surgeries.
The planning statement says that ‘while a very low number of comments were collected for such a large-scale development, local residents have clearly raised genuine planning matters’, but it considers that they have been addressed through the work carried out for the application.
Northumberland NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has already responded to say that if approved, the developer should make a contribution of £195,900 to expand GP practices.
The emerging Northumberland Local Plan places this site outside of, but right next to, the settlement boundary, however, the report says that it is ‘expected that a new railway station would be constructed to the east of the application site’, which ‘not only provides a new service for existing local residents but also improves the long-term sustainability of the Bebside area’.
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service