Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Anger over Green Belt Affordable Homes Bid

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Anger over Green Belt Affordable Homes Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Daniel Northumberland reporter

PLANS to build affordable housing on green belt land in a Northumberland town are facing opposition.

A planning application for 26 low cost homes on designated green space at Hexham is going before county councillors this week.

It has attracted objections from a council, civic society and 14 residents, with claims the homes would be an "intrusion" into the green belt and that there are better sites available for the affordable homes.

But county council officers are recommending the application be approved.

The application from Newcastlebased social landlord Two Castles and Durham builders Esh Group is for homes on land opposite the Arnold Clark car dealership on Corbridge Road.

A report produced by officers at Northumberland County Council says that the site is a greenfield site within green belt, and is also designated strategic green space.

The proposal has received objections from Hexham Town Council, Hexham Civic Society and the residents, on a number of grounds.

Society chairman Roger Higgins last night said: "This is an intrusion into the Hexham green belt which was only established in 1999 and which is meant to be a permanent protection for Hexham.

"We believe there are extensive brownfield sites within the town which the county council is not prioritising, and which by releasing greenfield sites, will remain undeveloped."

The application also faces an objection from Network Rail, which says insufficient information has been provided to give assurance that there will be no detrimental impact or increase of risk of landslides to the Newcastle to Carlisle railway line beside the site.

The county council's housing department has nevertheless supported the application, claiming the land is a "desirable and sustainable" location for affordable homes. …

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