Council bosses have been urged to invest in an upmarket Northumberland village before allowing hundreds of new homes to be built.
The pleas have come from Corbridge Parish Council chairman Maurice Hodgson, on the back of the revelation of plans from Gladman Developments for houses on land off Milkwell Lane, a third of which would be affordable for local people.
A planning application has yet to be submitted but the company has begun public consultation with 1,125 leaflets delivered to homes and businesses seeking feedback, organisations and groups invited to give views, an exhibition held and a public meeting.
Following the meeting, Coun Hodgson posed questions about whether the village’s infrastructure will be able to cope with so many new homes in terms of the impacts on traffic, parking, water and sewerage networks, and health facilities.
And he said: “The county council are going to have to make sure before they allow anything to go ahead they provide money to improve the infrastructure to allow Corbridge to cope with the additional number of people and the additional traffic.”
Coun Hodgson said the authority must also decide how it views the village before deciding whether to allow so many homes to be built, claiming too much development could jeopardise its value with visitors.
He said: “It has a nice heritage value, it is a tourist attraction. The county council has got to be careful.
“We have just got to be decided what we see Corbridge as? What effect will continuing to build houses have on its core value?”
Gladman failed to respond to requests for comment. Its leaflet says: “Every council is required by the Government to boost significantly the supply of housing and to make planning decisions in the light of a presumption in favour of sustainable development.
“Northumberland County Council do not presently have a five year supply of housing land. Approval of this development will help towards addressing the present shortfall of housing within the area.”
It adds: “The site is well located with good access to existing community facilities and the local public transport network.
“The proposal will provide new homes to sustain the vitality and viability of the local community.”
The leaflet adds that the development would include on site public open space with recreational facilities.
The scheme follows the approval of Taylor Wimpey’s plans for another 54 homes on two sites in the village last October.
A total of 36 open market houses will be built at Cragside, and 18 affordable houses at Synclen Avenue.
The company’s plans faced over 150 objections from residents and opposition from the parish council and the Friends of Corbridge 2013.
Approval came despite similar strong reservations about the impact of the scheme on the village’s education, sewerage and road systems.
In Northumberland County Council’s core strategy proposals, Corbridge has been earmarked as a site for just 300 new houses over the next 18 years.
It is understood the site Gladman is targeting was previously earmarked for housing by the now defunct Tynedale Council.