Residents protest plans for 286 new homes on edge of Northumberland village

Residents of New Hartley are unhappy at Barrett plans to increase the size of the village by more than a third

Callum Thompson Villagers in New Hartley, Northumberland, protest against proposals for 286 new Barratt homes on the edge of their village
Villagers in New Hartley, Northumberland, protest against proposals for 286 new Barratt homes on the edge of their village

Residents are protesting against a proposal to build 286 homes on the edge of a Northumberland village.

Barratt Developments have submitted plans to Northumberland County Council for 27-acres of land to the north east of St Michaels Avenue in New Hartley.

Locals say increasing the settlement’s size by more than a third will place too much of a strain on the “inadequate” single carriageway road through the village, and local shops, schools and health services.

“New Hartley has very few services and less than 850 houses,” said Jeremy Hayes, who lives on nearby Hester Gardens.

“But this proposed development could see its population increase by as much as 45%.

“With the growing trend of modern households to have at least two vehicles, villagers are further worried about the dangers posed by so many additional cars using the single and inadequate road, passing through New Hartley.

A public consultation on the plans saw 159 comments made by residents, with the vast majority objecting to the proposal, while a gathering at the site last week drew scores of protestors.

Mr Hayes added: “On one stretch large vehicles have to mount the pavement in order to pass each other and because there is no local employment, it is believed that new residents, working in Newcastle or North Tyneside, would also dangerously increase traffic through neighbouring villages such as Holywell and Seghill.

“Many New Hartley residents have already voiced concern about dangers to children crossing the road to get to school.”

Objector Jackie Derbyshire said: “There is simply just not the demand for any additional houses in New Hartley.

“The current houses in New Hartley are not selling and the Brambles, which is a relatively new development, are constantly up for sale, which is testament to the lack of demand for this type of property.”

Daniel Teasdale said: “This village has a history and a close knit community which the residents are proud.

“Building this many houses in a village that is not equipped to accommodate this many people is wrong and dangerous and we strongly object.”

Barratts managing director Mike Roberts said the plans - which were formulated after two public exhibitions - will provide much-needed family housing in South East Northumberland and will generate significant benefits for the village.

“If approved, the scheme will consist of a diverse range of two, three and four-bedroom houses as well as 17 bungalows,” he said.

“The construction of the project represents a substantial investment in the area which we are proud to be associated with.

“Not only will the development underpin 414 direct construction jobs but it will provide a seven-acre wildlife zone for residents to enjoy and increased expenditure for local business.

“In addition, approximately £350,000 will be contributed to sports and children’s play provision in New Hartley.

“The site has been long safeguarded for residential development and was proposed for housing by Northumberland County Council in their emerging Core Strategy.

“The scheme represents a logical extension to the settlement and will provide a valuable contribution toward the council’s five-year housing land supply.”

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