A controversial application to build nine affordable houses in the Green Belt just off Newcastle Road in Corbridge has been refused by Planning Officers at Northumberland County Council. The scheme proposed by Northumberland Estates caused a lot of controversy amongst Corbridge residents when it was first submitted in June last year with 19 of the 20 neighbouring properties objecting. Many of the comments focused on destruction of the Green Belt and highways access issues and the need for more housing in Corbridge was questioned with the ongoing construction of 187 houses on the Milkwell development.
Corbridge Parish Council raised their concerns and I did not support the proposal. I’ve made my opposition to this development very clear and I’m delighted that the Council’s Planning Officers have rejected it. This felt like a piecemeal development in the Green Belt and I was never convinced it would deliver the truly affordable housing. National and Northumberland policies are clear that this sort of development can only happen in exceptional circumstances in the Green Belt and we must preserve the character of Corbridge.
The application was rejected because it contravenes Green Belt policies, adversely effects the open rural character of the site and because of the loss of high quality mature trees.
The Milkwell development of 187 houses on land between Corbridge Middle School and Milkwell Lane will be starting very soon. Many people in Corbridge did not support the planning application for this development when it came forward in 2016. Although this was before I became a councillor, I too had significant objections but it was granted and we have to make the best of it.
There will be some community benefits including a new car park and improved sports facilities for the middle school and much-needed affordable housing provision.
I will continue working closely with Northumberland County Council, Corbridge Parish Council and the developers to ensure that this development is implemented safely and that we maximise the benefits and minimise the disruption. I’m in regular contact with the developers, the Council’s Planning, Highways and Health and Safety teams and with the School.
We’re making great progress with the Corbridge Parish Council to buy 3 houses and a bungalow on the Milkwell development site. Northumberland County Council have approved our grant application for £180,000 and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have approved loans of £170,000 from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB).