The Duke of Northumberland’s business venture has been accused of putting profit before the interests of residents over its housing plans for a county village.
Northumberland Estates is bidding to build an additional 55 properties at a housing estate in Rothbury.
Yet a number of residents, including a village councillor, have objected to the proposal, questioning the need for the homes, raising concerns over the increase in traffic using the estate’s sole entrance, and claiming the development will impact on the landscape and residential amenity.
The developer has highlighted its planned provision of affordable housing and the local authority’s support for its scheme, with officers recommending it be given the go-ahead.
The estates is seeking planning permission for the homes on land to the east of housing it delivered at Whitton View. 20 of the homes are planned to be affordable.
Yet letters of objection have been submitted to Northumberland County Council by 23 residents, along with a petition with 28 signatures.
councillor for the village Steven Bridgett has also voiced opposition while Rothbury Parish Council has expressed concerns.
Concerns have also been expressed over potential impact on road safety and expansion of the village, plus perceived impacts on the landscape and residential amenity.
Objectors have also voiced fears over the ability of services in Rothbury to cope with the number of residents and over the “isolated” proposed location of the affordable housing on the site.
Coun Bridgett said: “Northumberland Estates had the opportunity here to deliver something of benefit to the residents of Rothbury while at the same time still allowing them to make a considerable profit.
“Once again they have chosen their bottom line without any regard for potential impact on the local community.”
County planning officers are recommending the application be approved at a meeting of the North area planning committee in Alnwick on Thursday night, at which Coun Bridgett is to speak.
Colin Barnes, estates head of planning and development, said: “The development is fully supported by the council’s policy which identifies Rothbury as a key settlement for further growth.
“The scheme will provide much needed affordable housing especially for young people, as well as supporting local services.
“We have worked for almost a year with officers to ensure that all of the drainage and technical issues have been properly addressed, and are pleased that the application is to be recommended for approval by the planning department.
“This particular site has also been identified in the Northumberland County Council local plan which aims to meet the identified needs of the area for the near future.”