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Belsay Parish Council oppose development

Belsay Belsay Fiona Nielson

Belsay Parish council has voted to oppose plans for a new development in the village.

The application, for 28 new houses and a carpark with 67 spaces, has been lodged by Rural Solutions on behalf of the Belsay Estate. The site, currently farmland, lies south of the Old School House and east of the A696. It is designated Green Belt land in the Northumberland Local Plan, which is shortly to be submitted to the Government for approval.

Belsay Parish Council held an open meeting on 9 December at which there were presentations by the developer and by a local opposer of the plans, after which the Council discussed the issue and came to their unanimous decision. Their chief concern is that this development would double the number of homes in the village. There were serious worries also about the number of cars turning into or emerging from the new development onto the busy A696.

Apart from the matter of Green Belt protection for the land, some councillors felt that a large number of modern houses would not sit comfortably within the neo-classical arcade design of the present conservation village.

Arguments that new houses bring much needed fresh life to rural villages are countered by local residents who say that Belsay works very well as it is, that the school is not undersubscribed and that visitors to the village supplement the regular customers at the local shop to help maintain a viable trade.

Cpre Northumberland supports the Parish Council's concern to protect the open natural setting and unique architectural character of this highly attractive village. We also support the principles outlined in the Local Plan Core Strategy which were applied to Belsay in deciding the settlement boundary for the village within the Green Belt.

Our Chairman, Professor Howard Elcock, has therefore written to the County Council opposing the application.



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