Residents’ anger at ‘moving deadline’

Residents and councillors object to plans to build new homes in New Hartley.
Residents and councillors object to plans to build new homes in New Hartley.

Angry residents opposed to plans to build hundreds of new homes in their village have hit out at ‘moving deadlines’.

People living in New Hartley say they are exasperated at not being able to get any information on the proposals for 300 houses from developers Barratt Homes or Northumberland County Council.

Plans were withdrawn earlier this year by Barratt, which has since submitted a fresh application in the hope of satisfying planners at the council.

But local residents, who feel the plans are an overdevelopment of the site, say they are unable to get any information on the new proposals.

At a meeting on Wednesday, residents were able to get the latest news on the situation and voice their concerns about the impact of the development on the village.

Jerry Hayes said: “We are increasingly frustrated by moving deadlines and lack of information.

“Residents have constantly argued that this huge number of houses could easily increase the village population by up to 45 per cent, despite the fact New Hartley only has one shop, a post office, a small private medical practice, an over-subscribed school and a pub and club, but no GP surgery or dentist.

“There are also continued fears that the development will generate around 500 additional motor vehicles and an enhanced risk to New Hartley First School pupils and older residents attempting to cross the road, against the huge surge in traffic.

“The meeting heard that the builder is planning to put a ‘mini-dot’ roundabout at the development entrance at Hester Gardens, close to a railway crossing.

“This is despite national guidance advising against their use at new road junctions.

“It has been identified that road lay-outs of this nature do not reduce traffic speed, give no provision for pedestrians to cross, and should never be used where people ride horses.”

A Northumberland County Council spokesman said: “The application was originally due to be heard by the Strategic Planning Committee in September, however there remains a number of issues to resolve with the application which Barratt Homes are seeking to amend.

“The council requires more time to assess the proposal and the application will therefore be reported to committee in due course.”