RESIDENTS in Allendale have raised concerns about plans to build a 44ft high dome to hold gritter salt.

Plans to build a 33ft high salt storage shed at Allendale’s council depot were approved by Northumberland County Council in 2016.

However, a new application to change the type of shed proposed to a taller dome has now been unanimously approved by Tynedale Local Area Council.

One resident, who asked not to be named, pointed out that the dome would be as tall as the Allendale Fire Station’s tower.

And Alan Hills, who lives on the Forstersteads estate next to the depot, has written to the council protesting against the dome.

“We have noticed that the proposed dome will be significantly higher than the barn originally proposed,” he said.

“This will make it significantly higher than the roofs of surrounding properties and therefore not screened by the existing ‘tree and shrub belts’ as referenced in the original proposal’s design and access statement.”

Allendale Parish Council is also against the plans, unanimously agreeing to object to the application because the size of the barn was “of real concern – especially because of its prominent position in the village”.

The council’s statement added: “The council fully supports the installation of a new salt barn, but it was disappointed with the quality of the online documentation, and it remains concerned with the overall size.”

There were also concerns that trees near the site had been removed in September, opening up the view of the area.

However, in the council officer’s recommendations, it was pointed out that the building would have a smaller footprint than the original shed, and that the dome shape would mean it would not impact on local residents.

Local county councillor Colin Horncastle said he could see the positives and negatives of the scheme.

“There has been concern,” said Coun. Horncastle. “But it’s a catch 22. Allendale is one of the few depots that doesn’t have a salt barn.

“I’m neither for or against it. I can see the benefits and the negatives.

“It’s good practice to have salt under cover and we have to have it under a salt barn, otherwise the salt clumps and it becomes extremely difficult to spread.

“I do sympathise and I’m going to try and get some trees down the side so you can’t see it from Forstersteads.

“Put it this way. The bigger it is the more expensive it is. The council would not have made it that big if they didn’t need it.”