Whitburn villagers call for rethink on housing plan

Whitburn, residents opposed to plans to build new homes on land in the street.
Whitburn, residents opposed to plans to build new homes on land in the street.

Whitburn residents have urged planning chiefs to think again amid anger over their approval for a controversial house building scheme.

They say they are considering their options and may try to appeal a decision to allow four two-storey homes to be built on their doorsteps.

The Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum - created last year to give the village a voice on issues including planning -0 alleges its concerns have also been ignored.

It wants the council to look again at a proposal it says will leave the nearest existing property to the development severely overshadowed.

The forum has joined residents in opposing a plan to buld the properties on an unused slice of land at the rear of shops on East Street.

Forum chairman Phil Leaf said: “The council needs to reassess this planning application, based on our objections which we think are entirely reasonable.

“The forum is statutorily empowered by the council to be involved in neighbourhood planning. We are very upset that this hasn’t happened here. We are against this development in its current form. We objected at the planning meeting but were ignored. This has been like a kick in the teeth for us.”

“As a forum, we want to be involved in planning and planning decisions, not be in the position where we have to object.”

Barry Hall, 48, an engineer whose bungalow home in Adolphus Street adjoins the planning site, also condemned the approval decision.

He said: “There is just no room on this land for this development. The houses will be a blight on the street.

“They are going to build two-storey houses right next to my home, which is going to be very badly overshadowed and I’ll lose a lot of light.

“I’m not against a development on this land. The problem is the height of these proposed properties. This area is made up bungalows, yet they want to build these big houses next to them.”

The council received 23 objections to the scheme, applied for by Paul Afzal, of Bromley, south-east London.

It will see the demolition of rear outbuildings to make way for the development and a car park.

Residents’ concerns also include traffic oversaturation and the impact on elderly residents and children to disruptive building work and dangerous parking.

Peter Boyak, one of three Labour councillors in the Whitburn and Marsden ward also objected, claiming the location was unsuitable for homes.