A BEEKEEPER is caught up in a row with a housing developer over signs on his house warning of the potential dangers of bees.

Leigh Mordey has eight beehives capable of housing up to 80,000 bees each at his home in Medburn near Ponteland.

He said he had warned developer Bellway, which is building 62 executive properties close to his home, that new homeowners and construction workers could be seriously injured, or even die, as a result of stings from thousands of bees.

“If anyone is allergic to bee venom then just one sting can kill due to an allergic reaction,” he said.

“We have a duty of care to the public and our neighbours, therefore we feel that these banners are necessary for public safety.”

However, Mr Mordey, whose house backs onto six of the homes, claims Bellway do not want it known that there are bees kept nearby.

He added: “Bellway have ignored our warnings and there is no mention on their advertising material that our hives are there. They even go to the trouble of piling soil in front of the banners, parking a digger on top, and building a fence.”

Northumberland County Council confirmed they received a complaint on the grounds that the banners did not have planning permission.

A spokesman for Northumberland County Council said: “The council received a complaint regarding the banners and we have informed the homeowner that the banners require consent and they can either apply for it or remove them.”

Mr Mordey has since applied for retrospective planning permission for the signs, and complained to the council over the fence built by Bellway.

A spokesman for Bellway said: “Work has begun on the site and this includes making the construction area safe, by way of erecting site fencing.

“This is a typical part of the process for any new development, and helps us to ensure the health and safety of our workforce and the general public.

“We have worked closely with the local authority, environmental services and the local community to ensure that this location is a suitable one for new homes. This included thorough investigation into ecological and environmental factors.

“As a responsible developer, we ensure that we communicate the nature of the ecology to those working at and moving into the new homes.”