Plans for a £7.2 million housing scheme in Bellingham have been lodged.

Housing development company Maple Oak aims to transform the former Bellingham Auction Mart, which has been vacant since 2002, with 60 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.

There would be a mix of affordable rented homes (61 per cent), Rent to Buy/Shared Ownership units (12 per cent) and Supported Housing (27 per cent).

The scheme will include 12 one-bedroom apartments, two two-bedroom apartments, two three-bedroom apartments, 12 two-bedroom flats, 15 two-bedroom bungalows, 10 two-bedroom houses, and seven three-bedroom houses.

Developers 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 Living said 130 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the scheme if planning consent is granted.

A public consultation was undertaken, with Maple Oak Living distributing 650 leaflets as well as launching a consultation website which included a questionnaire.

Only 55 people responded, which planning consultants Lichfields, in a planning and affordable housing statement submitted alongside the application on behalf of Maple Oak Living, said is “reflective of general acceptance” of the proposed development.

24 per cent of respondents raised objections, with Bellingham residents expressing concerns such as the village will not be able to cope with the extra cars that the scheme would generate, that there would be insufficient facilities and services in the village to support the development, 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.

To view the planning application, visit the county council’s planning portal and search reference number 21/03415/FUL.