Business park plan worries Glororum villagers
Families in a rural hamlet fear they could suffer years of traffic misery under plans to build multi-million pound 'business village' in the Northumberland countryside.
Residents of Glororum - a tiny community on a winding C-class road near Stannington - are alarmed at the prospect of all of the construction traffic for the major redevelopment scheme at the nearby St Mary's Hospital site going past their homes.
They say the local roads are narrow, poorly-maintained and have many blind corners, as well as points where two vehicles cannot safely pass.
The road through Glororum is proposed as the route for all construction traffic going to and from the redundant hospital site, which partners Bellway Homes and Rivergreen Developments want to turn into a 250-job business village.
The project involves 172 new houses, offices and craft workshops, a bistro, a community centre and improved sports, play and transport facilities.
Yesterday Helen Brown, who lives at Glororum Farm with her husband David and children Harry, 14, and Kathryn, 12, said locals were very worried about the traffic issue.
"We agree that the hospital site needs to be redeveloped and know we can't do anything about the traffic that will eventually result from the new homes there when it is up and running. However, we could be talking about several years of construction traffic using the road through Glororum every day.
"We feel this is an accident waiting to happen. There are 11 children here and we have to be very vigilant with them even as things stand at the moment. We have suggested that the construction traffic could be shared with other local routes, such as Tranwell, so that we are not asked to take all of it.
"We are pleased that the planning committee is doing its job properly and coming to have a look at this, and we hope the highways people at the council will come to us with some sort of compromise so that we feel we have been treated fairly.
"The best solution to all of this would have been the construction of a new access road from the A1 to St Mary's Hospital, but that never happened."
Earlier this month county councillors deferred a decision on granting final planning permission for the housing element of the scheme following concerns from residents and Stannington Parish Council about traffic accessing the isolated site.
Next month councillors will visit the area to examine the local road network for themselves, and assess the potential impact of construction and long-term traffic on Glororum and Stannington.
A report to county councillors said a travel plan predicts the St Mary's development will generate less traffic than when the site was used as a hospital, a claim which is rejected by residents.
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