Plans approved for 460 homes on open space

An artist impression of how some of the houses would look on the Scaffold Hill development near Holystone.
An artist impression of how some of the houses would look on the Scaffold Hill development near Holystone.

Nearly 500 homes are to be built on open land next to an award-winning country park.

Housing developers Bellway and Taylor Wimpey had submitted a joint application for 460 homes on Scaffold Hill Farm near Holystone – and adjacent to the Rising Sun Country Park.

Members of North Tyneside Council’s planning committee approved the plans, which would see 115 affordable homes and 345 ‘open market’ dwellings built on 20 hectares of land plus a 41-hectare extension to the country park.

A previous application – for 450 houses, retail units and a health centre – had been refused by the council but won on appeal.

The council received six letters of objection plus an objection from the Holystone Action Group.

Concerns were raised about the impact on wildlife, an increase in traffic and pedestrian safety crossing the nearby roads.

Speaking at the meeting, Keith Page, of Holystone Action Group, said: “The crossing point at Holystone Grange is dangerous.

“To only have a pedestrian refuge in the road, which is on a bend, to get from Holystone to the Rising Sun Country Park, is inadequate and will put pedestrian safety at risk.

“Can we have some proper controlled crossings?”

Committee members were told that the proposals would be a mix of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes while 101 allotments would be created as a buffer between the development and the country park.

Fencing and hedging would be erected on the boundary of the housing development to act as a sound buffer to the adjacent A19 and A191.

As part of the improvements to the Rising Sun, there would be new drainage, a new access and egress road, new recreational features including a play area, and landscaping.

David Brocklehurst, of GVA Grimley Ltd, speaking on behalf of the applicants, said the development would generate £6m in additional council tax over the next ten years, create 186 construction jobs, generate capital investment of £92m and see significant investment in local highways improvement.

He added: “The applicants are ready to deliver this development. It will create substantial benefits to North Tyneside.”

Voting against the application, Coun Muriel Green said: “It’s a bit of a dilemma.

“We turned down a planning application for this site previously mainly for traffic and I don’t feel the traffic issues have been properly mitigated.”

Members approved the application, subject to a number of conditions including securing £360,000 from the developers to improve bus links, £1.4m towards a new primary school, £222,000 to improve health provision, and £100,000 towards the council’s travel plan.