Agenda and draft minutes

Castle Morpeth Local Area Council - Monday, 8th March, 2021 4.00 pm

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Lesley Little 

Items
No. Item

204.

PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED AT A VIRTUAL PLANNING COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Minutes:

L Dunn, Vice-Chair (Planning) (in the Chair) outlined the procedure which would be followed at the virtual meeting and of the changes to the public speaking protocol

 

205.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Armstrong

206.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Minutes of the meeting of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council held on Monday 8 February 2021 as circulated, to be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council held on Monday 8 February 2021, as circulated, be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.

207.

DETERMINATION OF PLANNING APPLICATIONS pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To request the committee to decide the planning applications attached to this report using the powers delegated to it.  

 

Please note that printed letters of objection/support are no longer circulated with the agenda but are available on the Council’s website at  http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Planning.aspx

 

Minutes:

 

The report requested the Committee to decide the planning applications attached to the report using the powers delegated to it.  Members were reminded of the principles which should govern their consideration of the applications, the procedure for handling representations, the requirement of conditions and the need for justifiable reasons for the granting of permission or refusal of planning applications. 

 

RESOLVED that the information be noted.

208.

19/04708/CCD pdf icon PDF 357 KB

 

 

Provision of a new car park on the site of the former Morpeth First School to provide a total of 142 no. parking bays. It is proposed to provide 128 no. standard parking bays, 8 no. disabled parking bays and 6 no. electric vehicle charging bays.

Morpeth First School , Goose Hill, Middle Greens, Morpeth NE61 1TL

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Provision of a new car park on the site of the former Morpeth First School to provide a total of 142 no. parking bays. It is proposed to provide 128 no. standard parking bays, 8 no. disabled parking bays and 6 no. electric vehicle charging bays.

Morpeth First School,  Goose Hill, Middle Greens, Morpeth, NE61 1TL

 

There were no questions on the site visit videos which had been circulated to Members in advance of the Committee.

 

R Laughton, Planning Officer introduced the application to the Committee with the aid of a Power Point presentation.

 

A written statement from C Vinnicombe, C Hopkins, V Crole and M Money in objection to the application was read out to the Committee by L Little, Senior Democratic Services Officer. A copy would be filed with the signed minutes of the meeting and would be uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

In response to questions from Members of the Committee the following information was noted:-

 

         The traffic assessment had taken into consideration the traffic turning right out of the site and the proximity of the pedestrian crossing to the junction with modelling undertaken to 2031.  It was acknowledged that there was some queuing at the junction however the levels were not unacceptable.  The increased use of the pedestrian crossing would assist in allowing vehicles to exit and the timings changed if this was necessary .  The situation would be kept under review.

         The operation of the car park as a 24 hour facility could be reviewed or a parking management plan could be attached if the Committee felt this would be necessary and reasonable.  The traffic survey had taken place during school term time and Officers were satisfied that it was representative of the normal traffic since the school on the application site had closed and was pre-lockdown.

         Officers were not aware of any proposals for CCTV to be installed and this had not been considered as part of the planning application.  The car park would operate in a similar manner to other town centre car parks.  If there was a persistent problem then this could be investigated.   The Director of Planning suggested that if Members wished a condition could be attached for a review to be undertaken after 12 months.

         A landscaping plan for the site had been submitted and as much shrub planting around the boundary would be used as possible of appropriate species within the limitations of the use of the site as a car park.  The Committee were reminded that this was a town centre site and would be developed and would not be left as an open area.

         A condition could be added to any permission granted for a management plan to investigate and provide any infrastructure for CCTV and additional electric vehicle charging points to be installed to prevent additional costs being incurred in the future.

         In the short term the provision of the car park would alleviate parking problems within the town centre  ...  view the full minutes text for item 208.

209.

THE NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL (LAND NORTH OF 7A LADYWELL WAY, PONTELAND, NORTHUMBERLAND) TREE PRESERVATION ORDER 2020 NO 05 OF 2020) pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Minutes:

There were no questions related to the site visit photographs previously circulated to Members of the Committee.

 

R Soulsby, Planning Officer provided an introduction to the report with the aid of a Power Point presentation.  In response to a question to the Officer, Members were advised that it was considered necessary for a TPO to be provided in order to provide longer term protection over the three years which had been included within the planning consent.

 

Councillor Wearmouth proposed acceptance of the recommendation as outlined in the report which was seconded by Councillor Dodd.  

 

It was stated that this was a sensitive site sitting outside the built up area which led to flat agricultural fields with no character.  The trees were important to the feel of the area and broke up the built up nature of the area when viewed from a distance.

 

A vote was taken on the proposal and it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED that the Northumberland County Council (Land North of 7a Ladywell Way, Ponteland, Northumberland) Tree Preservation Order no. 5 of 2020 be confirmed.

210.

APPEAL UPDATE REPORT pdf icon PDF 162 KB

For Members’ information to report the progress of planning appeals.  This is a monthly report and relates to appeals throughout all 5 Local Area Council Planning Committee areas and covers appeals of Strategic Planning Committee.   

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the information be noted.

 

A short break was held at this point and the meeting reconvened at 4.55 pm with Councillor D Towns, Vice-Chair in the Chair.

 

211.

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

To reply to any questions received from members of the public which have been submitted in writing in advance of the meeting. Questions can be asked about issues for which the Council has a responsibility. (Public question times take place on a bimonthly basis at Local Area Council meetings: in January, March, May, July, September and November each year.)

 

As agreed by the County Council in February 2012, the management of local public question times is at the discretion of the chair of the committee.

 

Please note however that a question may possibly be rejected if it requires the disclosure of any categories of confidential or exempt information, namely information:

 

1.       relating to any individual;

2.       which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual;

3.       relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person

4.       relating to any labour relations matters/negotiations;

5.       restricted to legal proceedings

6.       about enforcement/enacting legal orders

7.       relating to the prevention, investigation of prosecution of crime.

 

And/or:

 

?        is defamatory, frivolous or offensive;

?        it is substantially the same as a question which has been put at a meeting of this or another County Council committee in the past six months;

?        the request repeats an identical or very similar question from the same person;

?        the cost of providing an answer is disproportionate;

?        it is being separately addressed through the Council's complaints process;

?        it is not about a matter for which the Council has a responsibility or which affects the county;

?        it relates to planning, licensing and/or other regulatory applications

?        it is a question that town/parish councils would normally be expected to raise through other channels.

 

If the Chair is of the opinion that a question is one which for whatever reason, cannot properly be asked in an area meeting, he/she will disallow it and inform the resident of his/her decision.

 

Copies of any written answers (without individuals' personal contact details) will be provided for members after the meeting and also be publicly available.

 

Democratic Services will confirm the status of the progress on any previously requested written answers and follow up any related actions requested by the Local Area Council.

Minutes:

No public questions had been submitted.

212.

PETITIONS

This item is to:

 

(a)      Receive any new petitions: to receive any new petitions. The lead petitioner is  entitled to briefly introduce their petition by providing a statement in writing, and a response to any petitions received will then be organised for a future meeting;

        

(b)      Consider reports on petitions previously received: no reports are due to be considered at this meeting;

 

(c)      Receive any updates on petitions for which a report was previously   considered: any updates will be verbally reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

No new petitions had been received and there were no updates on previous petitions.

213.

LOCAL SERVICES ISSUES

To receive a verbal update from the Area Managers from Technical Services and Neighbourhood Services in attendance about any key recent, ongoing and/or future planned Local Services work for the attention of members of the Local Area Council, who will also then have the opportunity to raise issues with the Area Managers.

 

The Area Managers have principal responsibility for highway services and environmental services, such as refuse collection, street cleansing and grounds maintenance, within the geographic boundaries of the Local Area Council.

 

 

Minutes:

M King, Highways Delivery Area Manager provided an update to the Committee advising that there had been no positive cases of Covid within the Castle Morpeth Area Team.  There was a backlog to the maintenance programme due to staff being transferred to assist in providing additional support through the recent bad weather, with additional gritting routes added and flooding throughout the County.  He thanked all staff involved in providing the winter services, including farmers and landowners who had assisted in keeping the County’s road network open.  

 

Routine maintenance inspections had fallen behind and reactive third party inspections had increased due to the weather with additional resources being provided.  It was hoped that both planned and reactive repairs would be back in line by the end of April or beginning of May.  There was also a small backlog in respect of gully maintenance with additional officers added to assist.  The minor patching programme works would resume in April and details of locations were provided along with a list of highways works which had been completed and which were to commence in March.  A recent recruitment programme had been completed and the team had been expanded to meet demand.

 

In response to a query from Councillor Foster it was confirmed that a start should be made on the scheme within a few days as this was a high priority.  Councillor Towns asked that his thanks be passed on to staff for the work done on the path out of Pegswood towards Whorral Bank it had made a tremendous difference for residents. 

 

P Lowes, Neighbourhood Services Area Manager provided an update to the Committee advising of the work undertaken during the recent bad weather. The longer summer hours for grounds maintenance workers would shortly commence for the start of the season and additional staff would be employed.  Weed killing would be undertaken in-house and no blue dye would be used this year.  An increase in footfall in town centres was expected with the re-opening of shops and preparations had been made for enhanced cleaning of public toilets and additional emptying of waste bins for the expected influx of visitors to the area following the relaxation of lockdown rules.

 

Waste services had coped well during the recent bad weather and the garden waste collection service had just recommenced.  The trial glass collection was going well and a report on the trial would be produced in July.

 

The officers were thanked for their updates.

214.

MEMBERS LOCAL IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES pdf icon PDF 353 KB

Details of the Castle Morpeth Members Local Improvement Schemes for the period 2017 – 2021 are provided for information only.

Minutes:

Details of the Castle Morpeth Members Local Improvement schemes had been provided for information.  Members highlighted that it was important that members of the public understood that schemes were only paid for once they had been completed which was why it could look as if funds had not been spent, which in fact the money was allocated for a specific scheme.

 

RESOLVED that the information be noted.

 

215.

LOCAL AREA COUNCIL WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To note the latest version of agreed items for future Local Area Council meetings (any suggestions for new agenda items will require confirmation by the Business Chair after the meeting) 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the information be noted.

216.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting will be held on Monday,12 April 2021

Minutes:

The next meeting which was a Planning only meeting would be held on Monday 12 April 2021 at 4.00 pm.