Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 4th March 2015

Starting at 7pm in Newbrough Town Hall

Present     Cllrs MW Gibson (Chairman), J Annan, HA Walton, IS Hunter and A Smith.

Also Present: Clerk R Macfarlane, County Cllr RM Gibson.

Apologies

Cllr K E Bell

Declaration of Interest

Cllr MW GibsonLocal Plan – Small Settlements and the Green Belt

Cllr RM Gibson – All planning matters.

Minutes 

The Minutes of the Meeting of Newbrough PC which was held on 14th January 2015 were approved by the Council then signed by the Chairman.

Matters Arising

Pavingstone Work

Phase I of the Whitebeam project has been completed and Phase II will address the extra work which is required because the trees’s expanding roots; it is scheduled to take place in March. When repairs to the wall surround are carried out it is proposed to add the Stanegate Festival Queen’s Jubilee commemorative stone.

Tree Stump

The old stump of the diseased Sycamore tree opposite St Peter’s is to be removed and a new tree planted.  The Council thought a Copper Beech would be an appropriate replacement.

Communications

All councillors were circulated with a full list of correspondence.  NCC Area Committee Meeting 10th March,  Northumbrian CAB,  CPRE, Age UK, Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy consultation & Northumberland Residents’ Festival.

Public First Focus

No members of the public present

Roads        

Road Safety

The Highway’s Inspector has visited Newbrough and has identified areas where there are dark stretches and street lights are more than 183 metres apart.  One area identified is the stretch between the west junction of Sidgate and the Stanegate to the Lodge.

Planning    

Planning Application

14/04156/52/FUL  Change of use from B1 “Business” to Sui Generis “overnight tourist accommodation” along with the internal alterations and construction of an external store to suit the new use.  This application has been granted permission.

Northumberland Council Local Plan Core Strategy

Local Plan – Small Settlements and the Green Belt

NCC is also undertaking a comprehensive review of the Green Belt boundaries around settlements as part of the Core Strategy.  The Chairman attended a meeting on 12th February along with members of Warden and Wall Parish Councils.

Councillors expressed a concern that any future development should not be restricted just to affordable housing and that the Green Belt seems too limiting.

The Council believes that the community (pub, church and local school) would all benefit from some form of housing development in the community.  In principle the Council would favour development on the west portion of site No 2075 adjacent to Sidgate and Lowfield, and also the north portion of the site No 2537 opposite Sidgate.  The Council wouldn’t want any development on sites No 6857 and No 2609 opposite Newbrough School or in the Conservation Zone.

Deloittes Report

The external reviews by Deloitte and Planning Officers Society Enterprises (POS Enterprises) were commissioned in 2014 to build on NCC internal review work, and they were tasked with looking at performance across the board, including specifically the planning committee system and decision making.

Steven Mason, Executive Director of Northumberland County Council, wrote an article (1st March, The Journal)  “Why Northumberland’s Planning Regime Has To Change”,

The content is both contradictory and condescending and flies in the face of democracy.  If these recommendations are adopted then they will be against the spirit of Localism and any third party involvement in the planning process.

The Council objects strongly to the Deloittes recommendations which would get rid of Area Planning Committees and also give parish councils less say in planning matters.

Sidgate Play Area

Development of the Playdale led scheme on the Isos play area in Sidgate has started.  The old footballs goals have been removed – clerk to contact Isos to ensure they are replaced.  Financial assistance is available from Stanegate Festival funding, parish council funding and 106 Planning Fund monies.  Clerk to liaise with Isos.

Reports

Northumberland County Council

Cllr Gibson reported back information from a previous Area Committee meeting including NCC Planning Review, RVS service, VCS voluntary groups and Public Protection. He will forward details of these via e-mail to all councillors.

Cllr Gibson took a Straw Poll – where the Council unanimously opposed the move of County Hall from Morpeth to Ashington.

N&W Sportsfield Association

Cllr Walton gave an encouraging report – the football team is top of the league – and Allendale CC will use the facilities once again.  A group of toxophilites have been attracted to the Cricket Field and may practise there.

Newbrough Town Hall

A new caretaker is in situ and the project to use the WI House as “tourist accommodation” has passed planning stage.

Finances

Bank Accounts 4th March 2015 BMM £ 15210.84   Community £255.14

Payments Approved  Expenses £35.99 (vat £3.33), OneandOne £31.43 (£5.24 vat)

Date and Time of Next Meeting  – 7.00 pm, 6th May 2015

The Meeting was closed at 9.00 pm.