Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Duke's Site Plans Get Green Light

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Duke's Site Plans Get Green Light

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Daniel Northumberland reporter

THE Duke of Northumberland's business venture for a major redevelopment of a county village has been given the green light despite opposition from residents.

The Duke's Northumberland Estates has been given the goahead for just under 50 homes, a new doctor's surgery and business units at Shilbottle near Alnwick. It had faced 29 letters of objection and two opposition petitions of almost 400 signatures.

The bid has been approved by a government planning inspector having initially been refused by Northumberland County Council.

The inspector has also meanwhile ordered the council to pay the estates' costs having ruled it had "no reasonable grounds" to refuse the scheme.

A village leader voiced disappointment at the decision and at the council choosing not to defend its refusal. She called on the estates not to seek costs as a "good will gesture" and urged it to increase "paltry" funding promised to the community.

The estates has been given approval for 47 new homes, including 14 affordable properties, a doctor's surgery and start-up business units on land south of Grange Road. Twenty-nine letters of objection were lodged with the council along with two petitions against the proposal, one with 133 signatures and the other with 250.

Shilbottle Parish Council, which instigated one of the petitions, voiced concerns over drainage and the number of homes in a village which has grown from 600 properties to 800 in recent years.

County councillors refused the application against officer advice in 2013 and the estates subsequently appealed, following which the council opted not to defend its decision.

A planning inspector has now opted to allow the appeal, and approved the estates' request that the council pick up its costs relating to the challenge. …

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