DESPITE concerns ancient woodland would be damaged, an application to build more than 100 homes on the site of a derelict factory are set to be approved.

The application for 105 properties from housing developer Bellway Homes on the former Marley Tiles site, near Ebchester, is recommended for approval at Tuesday’s Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee meeting.

There were objections to the scheme from Shotley Low Quarter and Hedley-on-the-Hill parish councils and 26 residents, while the Woodland Trust raised concerns that the development would damage adjacent woodland.

The objectors claimed that, while there was acknowledgement the site needed to be developed, there were worries the scale of development was excessive in the parish of Shotley Low Quarter which currently only had 150 households, particularly in the green belt and open countryside.

Hedley on the Hill Parish Council raised objections about the access to the site, as well as the impact construction traffic would have on minor roads in the area.

However, planning officers at the county council said the development would improve a visually unattractive area, which was blighted by vacant buildings and hardstanding areas. It was also claimed the development would not cause substantial harm to the green belt.