PLANS for a new housing development in a rural Northumbrian village have been granted approval by councillors.

The proposals by the Tyneside Group will see the eight new homes built on land south of Ashlea in Melkridge. The village, which has a population of 199 residents according to the 2021 census, is on the A69 between Haydon Bridge and Haltwhistle.

There had been 11 objections received from local residents as well as from the parish council. There were concerns over the size of the homes as well as the impact on traffic and drainage.

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However, the plans were recommended for approval by council planners. At a meeting of the Tynedale Local Area Planning Committee on Tuesday (March 12), members heard that the design of the homes was “contemporary” but “utilised traditional materials”.

Speaking at the meeting, planning agent at Lichfields Michael Hepburn said the houses were designed to meet the needs of modern families where residents may work from home. He said: “There is a lower supply of larger family homes to meet modern working requirements.

“These homes will be sustainable, flexible and energy efficient. They will provide space for modern family living while respecting the character of the village.”

The site already had outline permission for eight bungalows, but it was felt that the two-storey detached homes would be more beneficial for the area.

Proposing approval, Councillor Colin Horncastle said: “The principle of development has been established.

“There have been some questions about energy efficiency, but everything that is done these days has to be done to modern standards. As far as design is concerned, some people might say it’s not very nice, some might say it’s absolutely fine – I haven’t got a problem with it.”

The plans were approved by 10 votes to two.