EARLY proposals to build a vast new home on the green belt have been met with fierce opposition from local residents.

The proposals for Fold House, located on an 11 acre plot of land south of Riding Mill, have led to 90 people responding to an online community consultation.

The plans detail a “ground-breaking house of the future which would be climate positive”. The team behind the design claim it could lead to a change in the way new homes are built in the future.

Architect Neil Turner, of Howarth Litchfield, described the house he hoped would be built.

He said: “The design will make use of high levels of insulation to reduce energy demand and generate heat and electricity on site for its own use.

“Thanks to other energy saving design features such as an earth battery, photovoltaic panels, solar thermal panels and a wind turbine, it will use less energy than it generates.

“Great efforts have been made to ensure the position of Fold House is natural within the landscape, evoking the shape and layouts of a Northumbrian farmstead, interrupted into a modern form with a series of metal barns sitting upon natural stone walls.”

The applicants plan to submit an application under paragraph 79 of the National Planning Policy Framework, which states that consent may be granted if the proposals represent “exceptional quality or innovative nature of the design.” However, the proposals to build the house on land which is a long-established footpath which leads to a popular viewpoint have angered local residents.

Owen Ingram, who lives near to the proposed development, criticised the design.

He said: “The building could be unfavourably compared to a Bond villain’s lair, with added bat boxes. The only things missing are the helipad and underground escape tunnel.

“The fields they want to build on are in the heart of the green belt. To provide access the charming ancient track will be obliterated under tarmac.”

Penny Hawley, who lives on neighbouring street The Longriggs, also voiced her concerns.

She said: “If we build on the green belt, it’s no longer the beautiful part of the countryside.

“It has been a much loved spot for generations in the village. If they get approval for this, that’s gone forever.

“It’s grazing land - if they really want to build it, buy a building plot, don’t take away one of the village’s most beautiful walks and views. It’s selfish.”