HOUSEBUILDERS refused permission to build on prime land in Tynedale 14 years ago are to make a second attempt to get the go-ahead.
Taylor Wimpey’s plans for 50 homes on two sites in Corbridge were thrown out by the former Tynedale District Council in 1988. When the firm took the case to a public inquiry, it was defeated again.
But now Taylor Wimpey is coming back for another attempt at the six-acre site near Cragside in the exclusive village.
Plans for 36 four and five-bedroomed houses there have been laid alongside proposals for 18 affordable two and three-bedroom houses and bungalows at nearby Synclen Avenue.
Although no formal planning application has yet been made, a consultation meeting with villagers is to be held at Corbridge Parish Hall on Thursday from 4pm to 7pm.
And it seems inevitable that there will be substantial opposition to the plans in a village which carefully guards against expansion. Corbridge county councillor Jean Fearon said: “This is very early days, but the approach has come from Taylor Wimpey.
“It is very low-key at this stage and we are simply allowing the public to know what Taylor Wimpey are actually doing.”
Taylor Wimpey this week put a mailshot leaflet through the letterboxes of some homes in Corbridge.
The leaflet said: “We always try to keep local communities informed as we prepare and then make our planning applications and really welcome any comments that you may have at this stage.
“Taylor Wimpey is intending to apply for permission to build 36 four and five-bedroom homes on Cragside and 18 affordable homes off Synclen Avenue, ranging from two-bedroom bungalows to two-and three-bedroom houses.”
The leaflet said Taylor Wimpey Development Manager John Foster was available to give information at the firm’s Tyneside headquarters, but yesterday Mr Foster was unavailable for comment.
Corbridge parish councillor David Walton said: “There has been no planning application made at this stage and we will go along to the meeting at the parish hall on Thursday like the general public.
“It took us a bit by surprise because we didn’t expect this development happening.
“There isn’t a lot of room for this kind of development in Corbridge.
“It was thrown out both by Tynedale Council and the appeals inspector back in 1998 and this is safeguarded land. Two other sites have been developed and this was a third phase plan. Taylor Wimpey had a meeting with us in November but we did not know this was coming.”
Meanwhile in nearby Hexham, another housebuilding battle could be looming as social landlord Two Castles plan a 30-home development on the A695 Corbridge Road, to the east of the town.
Linking up with Durham-based builders The Esh Group, Two Castles plan to build opposite the Arnold Clark garage.
Geoff Woodcock, managing director of Esh Developments, said in a letter to the town council: “A site on the eastern edge of Hexham has been identified as a potential site for approximately 30 new affordable homes, to be built by Esh Property Services and owned and managed by Two Castles Housing Association. We are very keen to have your thoughts on these before we develop our plans further and hopefully submit a planning application early next year.”
An exhibition outlining the development proposals was held in Hexham Library yesterday.