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Plans for 1,000 houses in Killingworth approved

Plans for almost 1,000 homes have been approved, after a series of delays, despite hundreds of objections.

North Tyneside’s planning committee passed, by majority, applications from Bellway Homes, Banks Property and Northumberland Estates to build on Killingworth Moor.

Two of the applications had attracted nearly 300 objections and councillors were jeered from the public gallery.

Alan Batey, who has lived in Killingworth for 32 years, said residents “need this green space not only for ourselves but for the health and wellbeing of our children and future generations”.

Mr Batey said: “Housing developments at Wallsend join up with Benton and Westmoor, developments at Wideopen join Gosforth Park, West Allotment is now surrounded, New York and Murton now join Whitley Bay.

“Please, I implore you not to do the same to our beautiful moor, enjoyed by residents of Killingworth, Backworth, Forest Hall, and Holystone.”

The Killingworth Masterplan, which anticipates 2,000 homes in total, has provoked outrage and divided local opinion on issues ranging from the environment, infrastructure and traffic since it was formulated in 2017, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

A decision on the current applications has been delayed twice, by a change in government guidelines and the late sharing of documents.

Councillors questioned the number of affordable homes included in the new plans, which the original masterplan had set at 25%.

Bellway and Banks Property’s proposal now offers no officially designated affordable housing after an assessment deemed the project financially “unviable” if they were included.

They have applied for grant funding from Homes England to help provide 15% affordable homes.

Banks said the development would provide “more people with the chance to live in the places that they wish to be” and could bring “substantial new community facilities”.

Northumberland Estates said it could provide 10% affordable homes if an agreement was reached with the council on work at the A19 junction, which is part of the application.