500 home plan consultation draws mixed views
Plans for a possible 500 house development in Amble, have drawn mixed views at a public consultation event.
Members of the public were asked to view the outline plans, and give their views on what type of housing they might like to see, how many homes they would like to see built at the site, and whether or not they were in favour of the provision of affordable housing.
Visitor were able to talk with the project team, including housebuilder Paul Hindhaugh of Hindhaugh Homes, and planners from architect firm Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners.
Outline plans were discussed at the event, which proposed that 15% of the properties could be affordable homes, and some might be rented. 20% were suggested to be 2 bedroom, 40% 3 bedroom and 40% 4 bedroom developments. The plans include a new access from Acklington Road.
Paul Hindhaugh told The Ambler: “We’re not looking at a high density site like the Persimmon development. We want a good mix of open space. Hindhaugh Homes are promoting this land on behalf of the owner, and although the eventual plans have not been finalised, because we are now gauging opinions from the public, the detailed master plan will remain in a similar ilk to what we have on show today.”
However the ultimate building developers have not yet been announced. “The plans are likely to be sub-contracted to one or two bigger housebuilders,” said Paul.
It is envisaged that there will be 65 new operational jobs created as a result.
Some visitors were skeptical of the new development, most people citing an increased strain on local resources. “There’s no thought gone into it,” said one visitor; “We live at Castle View and we can’t get out onto Acklington Road on a weekend. We don’t need it. We can’t get into the doctors or dentists, we haven’t got a supermarket.”
“Amble is doing well. It’s just taken off. This is too much, too fast,” said another.
The length of time the development may take was discussed. Alan Wann from the North East Design and Review panel said “I’ve looked at the wording on the plans and they do indicate basic important features of good urban design. Phasing is very important. It could take a long time, so it’s important that it works all the way through. ”
“Most developers of projects like this will build between 30 – 50 houses per year, so this could well be a five to eight year development.” said Paul Hindhaugh.
“I’m a local builder and I can see Amble has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. We’re considering aspects such as: can Amble sustain these houses? Amble wants a supermarket, more access to dentists, doctors etc so a development of this kind may facilitate that improvement,” said Paul.
Mr and Mrs Bond have recently moved to Amble from Thirsk. “We have just bought one of the new Persimmon houses and we found we can’t get a dentist in Amble. There’s not even fibre to the home, which we found shocking on a brand new development. We’re not against the idea of this, but it has to be able to bring prosperity to the area, which we can’t see happening yet with the Persimmon development.”
But some visitors were optimistic with the plans, and one expressed exasperation with some of the comments they heard being discussed.
“I’ve no idea how anything gets built in Amble, with the amount of negative comments,” he said. “I thought we might see designs of houses and prices, but this is more outline. Amble needs investment and if that’s the start, then I’m happy. If this goes ahead then it might just attract Asda or the like. But I’m just hearing people having a go at the wrong people. They need to complain to the county council, not the developers.”
If you would like to comment on the plans, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org