Anger as plans for 125 homes are approved

Killingworth Stores-proposed site of new homes at West Lane-Killingworth.'REF 3007141463
Killingworth Stores-proposed site of new homes at West Lane-Killingworth.'REF 3007141463

Campaigners have said they will continue the fight against plans to build homes on a former military site.

Residents living near the former REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) site in Killingworth were left disappointed after North Tyneside Council’s planning committee gave the green light on Tuesday for 125 homes to be built on the 4.9-hectare site.

But members of the Save Killingworth Moor group say they will fight on against the proposals by Bellway, which they fear will create a precedent and see more homes built on Killingworth Moor.

Group member Alan Vasey laid the blame on the council for not having a formal Local Plan in place, leaving green spaces open to developers.

He said: “North Tyneside Council could have handled this better. I think until they get this planning document in place next year then every site in North Tyneside is prime for development.

“We are having discussions with our legal advisors to see what our next steps are. We’re not giving up on this fight.

“We were disappointed that our reports were not circulated to the planning committee yet Bellway’s were.”

Nearby residents say schools in Killingworth are already full and cannot cope with the increased demand from these houses.

Mr Vasey added: “There are no spaces in schools in the Killingworth area. Forty-nine per cent of first choice primary school places were rejected this year because schools are full.”

The council received more than 150 letters of objection from residents who said the development would increase traffic levels and potential flood risks.

And there are still concerns about unexploded ammunition being on site despite assurances from Bellway.

On the issue of potential unexploded ammunition, planners said Bellway carried out a survey and the application proposed homes only within that part of the site which is previously developed land.

As part of its application, Bellway has stated it will contribute £413,750 towards primary education; £269,610 to secondary education; £61,468 towards the provision of health facilities; £58,000 towards improvements at Killingworth Lakeside Park; and £120,000 on nearby road improvements.

A Bellway spokesperson said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the committee meeting. We are now looking forward to regenerating this derelict site and building some much needed family homes in the area.”