Residents brand plans for 286 new homes ‘ridiculous’

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.

Plans to build almost 300 new homes have been re-submitted despite huge opposition from nearby residents.

In January, developer Barratt Homes North East, withdrew proposals for 286 homes in New Hartley after planning officers at Northumberland County Council recommended refusal.

But an updated version of the controversial plans has now been submitted to planners.

When the plan was first put forward, hundreds of residents objected, saying the huge development would destroy the community cohesion of the village, which would be unable to cope with the extra houses.

John Barrell, who lives in Meadow View in the village, said: “It is totally ridiculous.

“Nothing has fundamentally changed, and until Barratt make a substantive move to address the concerns of the village, I hope the plan is refused.

“If this went ahead it would destroy the village.

“It would fundamentally change the character, the amenity and the safety and wellbeing of the village.

“We will continue to fight.”

Local resident Judith Fraser added: “I have lived in the village for over 30 years and I am disappointed that Barratt has re-submitted plans to build 286 houses on a green field area of our village.

“There is a very high opinion in the village that this would have a devastating effect on the village.

“These roads are already congested with buses having to mount the pavement to have enough room to get by.

“The building of 286 houses would increase our village size by 44 per cent – we will no longer be a village.”

Barratt Homes North East submitted plans to Northumberland County Council for the development on 27-acres of land to the north east of St Michaels Avenue, on the edge of New Hartley village.

Residents raised concerns about pedestrian safety and the potential for accidents caused by the extra vehicles on the roads.

Fears were also raised about heavy construction lorries using the only road in the village, and the lack of affordable housing, if the plans went ahead.

Neil Milburn, land director at Barratt Homes North East, said: “There is no dispute between ourselves and the council that the site at New Hartley is a sustainable and suitable site that is appropriate for much needed new housing.

“There is similarly no dispute between us that the development will bring with it 414 jobs and real economic benefits.

“We have in conjunction with the council revisited the access arrangement and agreed to provide a roundabout and now hope that the amended submission will now be accepted so that we can progress with this much needed scheme.”

Local county councillor, Susan Dungworth, said: “I do not see any substantive difference between this and the previous proposal.

“It still does not address the problems with the access roads or affordable housing and still proposes to over develop the village.”

Mr Barrell added: “Our main objection is that it would be over developed, and it is far too intrusive in terms of intensity and scale compared with the rest of the village. It is all wrong.

“We will re-submit our objections and call on the council to maintain its stance, and hopefully get them to refuse the application as it stands.”