The first details of a proposed £7.2 million housing scheme in Bellingham have been published.

Plans from affordable housing development company Maple Oak, which is part of Lichfields, were delivered on Saturday May 29 with a mail shot throughout the village and are also available to view on a pre-planning application website.

The proposal aims to transform the former Bellingham Auction Mart, which has been vacant since 2002, with 60 affordable new homes on the site.

The scheme will include a mix of two and three bedroomed houses, two bedrooms bungalows, and one and two bedroomed apartments.

Developers say that their proposals have been guide by an iterative design process, and responds to specific technical considerations such as landscape, ecology, water access, connectivity and movement.

They also say that the houses have a unique contemporary design which is appropriate to the surrounding area and wider character of Bellingham.

The site is identified in the emerging Northumberland Local Plan as being suitable for 50-65 new homes. Consent was granted to developers Yuill for 57 houses there before the financial crash of 2008, but that consent has now expired.

Maple Oak says that 130 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the scheme if planning consent is granted.

As the precedent for housing on the site has already been set, it is unlikely consent will be refused for a similar project.

Maple Oak also says that the Covid situation has prevented a face to face public consultation, but are inviting comments via the mailshot or online before June 14.

Residents in the village have expressed concerns on several aspects related to the development. Namely that the village will not be able to cope with the extra cars that the scheme would generate, as well as adverse effects on the sewage works.

In addition to the site at Bellingham’s former Auction Mart, 31 new houses have already been approved between Briar Hill and Noble Street – putting further strain on parking and sewage.

Residents can have their say on the plans by visiting

Following the submission of the planning application, there will be another opportunity for residents to have their say when Northumberland County Council undertake their own consultation.