Picture of rolled plans

Council wins West Thirston appeal

Northumberland County Council has won an appeal against its refusal to grant planning permission for 30 new dwellings on land east of West Thirston, Felton.

The council refused the application in July 2018 on grounds including that it would represent non-essential and unjustified development in the open countryside and it would be out of keeping with the scale of the existing settlement.

A Government appointed planning inspector has now agreed with the council, noting that the proposal would conflict with national and local planning policies and cause significant harm to the character and appearance of West Thirston.

The application by Northumberland Estates proposed the construction of 30 new residential dwellings on agricultural land, along with an improved junction and access road.

Rob Murfin, director of planning at Northumberland County Council, said:  “This is an extremely good outcome for the council and residents.  

“The application was for a large development in relation to the size of the existing village, against policy in open countryside outside the settlement boundary.  It would have fundamentally changed the character of West Thirston without delivery any real benefits to the local community.”

In her decision letter Government planning inspector Helen Hockenhull said that ‘this type of layout, in effect a small housing estate, would not be in keeping with the simple linear pattern of development in the village’, and that ‘the scale of development proposed would result in a significant expansion out of keeping with the built form and character of the village.

She considered that the adverse impact of the development would significantly outweigh the benefits.
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