The architects behind a controversial plan to build four new homes on green belt land in Hexham have spoken in defence of the application.

Corbridge-based designers 33 Architecture are the agents of a planning application to build four homes on land north of Westburn on Highford Lane.

The application has attracted 22 objections on Northumberland County Council’s planning portal, while national charity Campaign to Protect Rural England has also raised concerns.

Ollie Currie of 33 Architecture said: “It’s always an honour to be involved in projects in Hexham and the surrounding areas.

“As Hexham born-and-bred architects and designers, we’re really proud of the projects we are involved in, particularly this one which would help to address identified housing need in the town.

“These modest-sized family homes are aimed at meeting the needs of the community and, while the site is in the green belt, it is much more appropriate than having edge of town developments and larger green belt releases elsewhere.

“This is a carefully-designed scheme that would reduce the housing burden on other parts of the town and which would have minimal impact on picturesque views of Hexham and the wider surrounding countryside given that the site is surrounded by existing development and visually contained.

“We have also worked incredibly hard to fully retain the woodland setting of the site and it will provide a positive ecological contribution with wildlife net gain.”

The application has also received 21 supporting comments, including the occupier of Westburn house.