A Northumberland business owner has urged her neighbours to back plans for a housing development on her doorstep in the hope it will boost trade.
Lesley Scott runs Doodle Bugs Ceramics and Craft from East Cramlington industrial estate’s Old Stone Road, and says proposals for 194 new homes would help her venture, and others nearby, grow.
A planning application for Banks Property’s Chapel View housing scheme, which would sit on an eight hectare site to the south of the B1326 and the east of the A189, is expected to be submitted to Northumberland County Council in the coming weeks.
If it gains approval, it would include two-storey homes for families and first time buyers, as well as areas of informal green space, to the east of the town’s new specialist Emergency Care Hospital.
Lesley’s business, which has been in its current premises for 18 months, runs pottery painting parties for children and adults, and sells a range of finished products.
She said: “While we attract visitors from across the North East and also increasingly sell our goods online, most of our customers come from the local area, and our aim is to grow this business from this location in the future.
“I believe East Cramlington is quite an under-developed area with the capacity for the sort of development that’s being proposed here, and having more young families in the area can only be beneficial for Doodle Bugs’ future growth.”
The developer introduced its Chapel View plans to about 60 people at a community event in November, and has also spoken to local businesses about their hopes for the scheme.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, said: “All our projects are designed to bring a range of economic, employment, environmental, supply chain and social benefits to the areas in which they’re based, and it’s pleasing to see an appreciation of the positive impact that the Chapel View scheme could have for businesses in East Cramlington.
“We’ve had a generally positive response from people in the area about what we’re looking to do in their community, and believe that this project would help to address the clear and increasingly pressing need across the North East to boost the available supply of quality homes.
“The Chapel View development already has excellent road and sustainable transport links, would be designed to complement existing residential development within the local community, and is located in an area where we are certain there will be strong demand for the type of high quality housing that we are proposing.”
Ann Mitcheson represents East Cramlington on Cramlington Town Council.
She said: “I can sympathise with businesses who are keen to see the development built because we have seen from the hospital that these schemes do bring real benefits for local people, such as road improvements.
“I have concerns over the location of entrances to the estate and traffic flow, but if the developer listens then I think the housing will be a good thing for the area.
“How are we going to attract people to Cramlington without homes?”