3 April 2017
Illustrations: MWE Architects, Choppington
Planning work from WYG’s Newcastle team has secured resolutions to grant permissions for two housing schemes on the same day– one for 327 homes in Choppington , and the other for 16 homes in Newbrough in the green belt.
Acting for Dysart Developments Ltd and Arch Developments, we prepared and submitted the application for the larger scheme which is on the northern edge of Choppington, just over 15 miles north of Newcastle. We also acted as project manager for the whole project team and undertook public consultation for the scheme.
The planning officer for Northumberland County Council recommended the scheme for approval, finding that some of the County Council’s own policies were inconsistent with the NPPF. The report to the planning committee considered that the proposal would ‘result in an acceptable and sustainable form of development in a suitable location that would deliver an appropriate mix of accommodation, well related to existing development in the locality’. The committee unanimously resolved to approve the application.
We provided a robust viability appraisal that was independently scrutinised which proved that the provision of any contributions towards affordable housing on this site would make the proposals unviable. Consequently, Northumberland County Council decided not to seek any affordable housing contributions.
16 homes in the green belt
For the smaller scheme, at Butt Bank in Newbrough just under 30 miles from Newcastle, we prepared and submitted an application for 12 affordable and four open market homes on behalf of Partner Construction Ltd.
A local family had bequeathed a dowry of £400,000 but it was restricted to providing affordable housing only within Newbrough. We provided a robust case to demonstrate that there was a need for affordable housing in this location.
The planning officer for Northumberland County Council recommended the scheme for approval, concluding that the ‘requirement for affordable housing in this location and the circumstances outlined in relation to this above outweighed the potential harm caused by the visual impact on the development’. She considered that ‘very special circumstances have been demonstrated to allow such development in the green belt in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework.’
We also coordinated the project team from the outset and managed the public consultation process. The permission will be subject to a Section 106 agreement to secure the provision of 75 per cent affordable rented accommodation for the lifetime of the development.
Sandra Manson, head of WYG’s Newcastle planning team, said: “These latest successes represent the culmination of much hard work and we are delighted at the outcomes. We are looking forward to seeing these developments come forward.”
In a separate application, the Newcastle team has also achieved a minded to approve decision from Northumberland County Council for Dissington Garden Village.