Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Town Is 'Selling off Its Silver' Developer Plans for Historic Site

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Town Is 'Selling off Its Silver' Developer Plans for Historic Site

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Daniel

DEVELOPERS were accused last night of trying to sell off a Northumberland town's "silver" after submitting plans to build houses in an 18th century garden.

English Heritage describes the Grade II-listed Governor's Garden and House in Berwick as having "outstanding historic significance".

But developer Lindisfarne Homes is seeking planning permission for 66 homes on the site of the Governor's Garden and the former Blackburn and Price garage, on Palace Street East.

Nineteen of the homes are proposed to be built in the garden of Governor's House, a Grade II-listed building dating back to 1719 which once housed a military governor and is linked to the town's barracks and ramparts. But the prospect of houses being built on the garden has enraged local residents and Berwick Civic Society.

A total of 32 letters of objection from 19 residents and groups have been sent to Berwick Borough Council, which is set to determine the application tomorrow night. Planning officers are recommending the scheme be approved - which has prompted the civic society to ask the Government Office for the North East to call in the application for a public inquiry. It has also approached English Heritage - which recently upgraded the listing of Governor's House - at national level after the Newcastle branch raised no objections.

The civic society's outgoing chairman Alison Cowe last night said the group wishes to see the Governor's garden site, which is now in an unkempt state, restored.

She said: "It is a very sad case, it will be the sad loss of such a historic garden, it seems stupid that Berwick planning authority is throwing away a rare 18th century garden. People do not realise how important it is, how historic it is." Judith Nicholson, whose The Avenue home overlooks the site, is concerned that the house and the garden are to be divided. …

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