Anger at decision to build more houses in Gosforth

OWNERS of luxury homes on a secluded development have expressed their anger after permission was given for more homes to be built.

Gaynor Ball with her children at the site in Hawthorne Grange, Gosforth, where new houses are planned
Gaynor Ball with her children at the site in Hawthorne Grange, Gosforth, where new houses are planned

OWNERS of luxury homes on a secluded development have expressed their anger after permission was given for more homes to be built.

Families who bought homes at Hawthorn Grange, near Gosforth, Newcastle, around two years ago claim they were told they would have use of a paddock to the north of their land. But members of Newcastle Council’s planning committee have now given original developer Field Luxury Homes consent to extend the site and build more houses on the land of the paddock.

Residents who bought the first 14 homes in countryside on the edge of the Great Park estate, have opposed plans for the three new properties. Gaynor Ball lives at Hawthorn Grange with her husband David, a pilot, and their two young children.

The 36-year-old said: “We were told that it was a rural gem with the amenities of the Great North Park, with the shared use of a grass paddock with views to the North and to the East. We were also told there was no plan to develop for at least 10 years. We’re not stupid, obviously someone was going to try and build on it but we didn’t expect it to happen so soon. We’re really disappointed, it’s not what we signed up for.”

The land, off Brunton Lane, hasn’t been classified as green belt since 1998 and councillors were told the paddock was “covered in debris, top soil and building material discarded on the land during the construction of the Hawthorn Grange development”. Coun Anita Lower, the former Liberal Democrat deputy leader of the council, has supported the Hawthorn Grange residents and also spoke against the development at the committee meeting.

She is concerned that the area could be swamped by housing if proposals documented in the council’s core strategy go ahead. And Coun Lower said more homes at Hawthorn Grange would mean the area was in danger of “sprawling” alongside the Great Park estate. She is also worried for wildlife in the vicinity.

“There’s a huge green corridor there that’s very busy with wildlife including deer from Woolsington Hall,” said Coun Lower. The 14 homes at Hawthorn Grange are connected to a sewage works on the site, and residents claim the plant doesn’t work properly and omits foul smells. Coun Lower said the Environment Agency had identified a problem but neither Northumbrian Water or the Environment Agency objected to the plans.

Concerns were also raised about the safety of pedestrians and other road users after a cyclist was knocked off his bike by a vehicle pulling out of Hawthorn Grange.

But councillors approved the plans by six votes to four. Field Luxury Homes and architects CSM declined to comment.

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