The Ambler

Amble's Community Newspaper: News & events from Amble in Northumberland – The Kindliest Port.

Green light given to nearly 1000 new homes

County Councillor Jeff Watson at the site of Cheviot Homes’ 272 house development at Percy Drive

Within the space of three months, 951 new houses have been given the green light to proceed.

Three large housing developments have been approved on the edge of town, together with a smaller development on the site of the former St. Cuthbert’s school.

• Up to 500 houses will be built off Acklington Road, on land west of James Calvert Spence College.
• 166 houses have been approved on land west of Moor House farm on the A1068.
• Another development of up to 272 houses has been approved on land east of Percy Drive.
• A further 13 dwellings have been granted planning permission on the former St. Cuthbert’s School site.

Opportunities and concerns
The new developments equates to a 30% increase in the number of houses in the town, bringing opportunities as well as concerns.

County Councillor Jeff Watson said “The truth is that there is little that can be done to stop housing developments that meet Government criteria, all we can do is try to ensure that the plans and infrastructure match up to the needs of the Town.

“I think we have been more successful lately in presenting and negotiating our needs and the new administration is listening to our local representations.”

All the areas shaded (with the exception of #4) have now been given permission to build

We talked to a resident (who didn’t wish to be named) who gave us his view of the increasing number of people to the town.

“The people I meet out walking are invariably retired. They’ve sold their house in places like Watford, Leicester, Derby, for half a million, and moved here. They all say quality of life, busy roads, and immigration made them move,” he said.

“This will put a massive burden on our area’s health care. But it is also a relatively wealthy generation who are spending locally, and this will create a lot of jobs for youngsters and carers.

“It also seems that housing in the old town is being snapped up for holiday lets. The locals seem to be migrating to new Persimmon houses! Some terraced houses in Amble are going for £140,000. So you can see the opportunity.

“But it doesn’t help young families. We need more social housing otherwise the younger generation will be stuck on private rentals or at home with parents.”

County Councillor Terry Clark voiced his concern that the new housing will attract second home owners. He said “This large scale build will not house future generations within our community. With only a small percentage being affordable, this is hardly building homes for local people who need it.

“To address the housing needs in Amble, we needed to start building public social housing, starter homes for young couples, single people, and bungalows for our older generations along with investment for the towns infrastructure.”

Roads, schools and GPs
Concern that Amble’s infrastructure will struggle to cope with such a large increase in its population, has been acknowledged by planners.

A link road will be built between the Acklington Rd and Hauxley View developments, bringing traffic from Acklington Rd to the A1068 south of the current ‘fish’ roundabout, in order to mitigate further congestion.

And funding via Section106 money, will also be allocated to Amble’s schools and GPs.
Anna Williams

Related articles: Seven housing developments in six months

Please note: The map has been updated to reflect the number of houses approved

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