“Our visitors asked a lot of questions and put forward a range of good ideas about how this project might be able to enhance the local area”

Dozens of local people have taken their first look at draft plans for a new high-quality residential development on the south western edge of Ashington.

Banks Property is looking to apply for permission to build up to 190 family homes on a 7.8 hectare site which will be accessed by a new road junction onto Wansbeck Road and held two consultation events to enable local people to find out more about what’s being proposed, ask questions and provide feedback to Banks’ design team.

More than 60 people visited the two events, with a wide range of views expressed and questions asked and several of the attendees requesting to put down a deposit for one of the new homes in the event that the project gets the go-ahead from Northumberland County Council.

Banks is hoping to organise further local consultation events before submitting a planning application to the County Council before the end of the year, with a view to it being considered by spring 2023.

All the questions and points raised at the events are being taken into account by Banks’ Wansbeck Road team, with a summary of them and the team’s responses being made available on the project website in the near future.

The Wansbeck Road development proposes a range of house types, including bungalows and affordable housing, and each property would come equipped with its own electric car charging point.

Around 75 jobs will be directly supported on-site during the construction of the new homes, along with a further 63 jobs off-site, and a range of contract opportunities will be made available to local suppliers for different aspects of the project’s development.

It has also been designed to deliver a biodiversity net gain of at least ten per cent for the local environment which means that a range of ecological enhancements will be provided such as additional tree and hedgerow planting, the creation of wild-flower meadows or pond improvements.

Improvements to the local footpaths would allow for easy access to the new development, while enhancement of the Wansbeck Road/Green Road junction would help pedestrians cross the road more easily.

The proposed road infrastructure has been designed to allow a bus to turn within the development with a view to allowing bus services to access this area of Ashington in the future.

Jamilah Hassan, community relations manager at The Banks Group, says: “Our aim is to create a thriving new community that is a positive addition to the wider area and we’re excited by the opportunities that the Wansbeck Road site provides.

“Our visitors asked a lot of questions and put forward a range of good ideas about how this project might be able to enhance the local area, while to have people asking about putting down a deposit on a house indicates the demand in the local market that we’ll be looking to meet.

“The project is being designed to bring a wide range of economic, employment, environmental, supply chain and social benefits to the area, while the mix of housing types that it includes will maximise the opportunities for people who want to move to or stay in the area to do just that.

“We’ll be using the feedback received at the events to help finalise our planning application and hope Northumberland County Council’s planning committee will be minded to support it when it comes before them.”