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CPRE Northumberland

Villages under threat

More houses on the southern fringe of Amble More houses on the southern fringe of Amble Colin Adsley

CPRE warns of ‘semi-urbanisation’ of Northumberland villages - by Les Ashworth

Volunteers for CPRE Northumberland (Campaign for Protection of Rural England) are becoming increasingly concerned about the number of planning permissions being given for new housing in many of our rural settlements.

“Yes, we have to expect a certain level of new housing in outlying villages,” says CPRE Acting Chair Colin Adsley. “The problem is that there seems to be no way of checking the ever-growing expansion of settlements into the surrounding countryside, with fringe developments aimed at commuters or for holiday lets in coastal villages.”

“The situation is that some villages are becoming almost semi-urbanised, losing their distinctive characters while their original buildings are swallowed up by a continual expansion of the village boundaries”.

Many of the new housing developments come in at under ten dwellings per application, meaning that there is no need to provide affordable housing as part of the schemes. The lack of rural facilities such as schools, doctors, or shops, means more and longer car journeys on narrow roads which are already heavily used.

The situation is not sustainable, says CPRE, and hopes the County Council will take steps, as it formulates the new Local Plan, to introduce a measure of control over just how quickly our rural settlements are allowed to expand in ways that can harm their traditional character and close-knit communities.

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