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Clark refuses Northumberland green belt housing

by on July 16, 2015

Communities Secretary Greg Clark has dismissed an appeal by Lugano Developments Ltd who wanted to build a garden suburb involving up to 280 dwellings and a community farm on 82 hectares of land at Birney Hill Farm.

The farm is located just over two kilometres from the built up edge of Newcastle upon Tyne near the city’s international airport and next to the existing suburb of Darras Hall.

The scheme was earmarked for green belt land and the outline application included proposals to demolish some existing buildings.

The scheme had been rejected by Northumberland County Council and was recommended for refusal by the inspector who held the recovered appeal inquiry.

Clark agreed with the planning inspector that the benefits of an “exemplar” garden suburb and a scheme offering both affordable and executive housing, where there was an absence of a five-year supply of housing land, was insufficient to outweigh the harm the scheme posed to green belt policy.

The proposed development was not considered to be sustainable because of the lack of connectivity with Darras Hall and the impact of noise from aircraft taking off and landing at the airport.

Clark’s decision letter concluded: “The very special circumstances necessary to justify a grant of planning permission for inappropriate development in the green belt do not exist.”

View the decision

Roger Milne

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