Agenda and draft minutes

Castle Morpeth Local Area Council - Monday, 14th June, 2021 4.00 pm

Venue: County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2EF

Contact: Lesley Little 

No. Item



The committee is asked to note the following membership and terms of reference for the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council which were agreed by Council on 26 May 2021. 


The membership is made up of the county councillors who represent the 13 electoral divisions in the Castle Morpeth area: 


Chair : J Beynon

Vice Chair: D Towns; Vice Chair (Planning): JD Foster 


Quorum - 4 




Bedlington Independents 





Independents (Non-grouped) 

D. Bawn 

S.J. Dickinson 




J. Beynon 

L. Dunn 




 L.R. Darwin

J.D. Foster 




R.R. Dodd 





P. Jackson 





V. Jones 





H.G.H. Sanderson 





D. Towns 





R. Wearmouth 












Terms of reference


(1)       To enhance good governance in the area and ensure that the

Council’s policies take account of the needs and aspirations of local communities and do not discriminate unfairly between the different Areas.

(2)       To advise the Cabinet on budget priorities and expenditure within the


(3)      To consider, develop and influence policy and strategy development of

the Council, its arms-length organisations, and other relevant bodies, to ensure that they meet local requirements and facilitate efficient and transparent decision making.  

(4)     To receive information, consider and comment on matters associated

with service delivery including those undertaken in partnership agencies, affecting the local area to ensure that they meet local requirements, including matters relating to community safety, anti- social behaviour and environmental crime.

(5)     To consider and refer to Cabinet any issues from a local community

perspective with emerging Neighbourhood Plans within their area, and consider local planning applications as per the planning delegation scheme

(6)      To consider and recommend adjustments to budget priorities in

relation to Local Transport Plan issues within their area, and to make decisions in relation to devolved capital highway maintenance allocations.

(7)     To engage, through the appropriate networks, with all key stakeholders

from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors to facilitate the delivery of area priorities. This will include undertaking regular liaison with parish and town councils.

(8)     To inform, consult and engage local communities in accordance

with Council policy and guidance, through the appropriate networks. 

(9)      To, as appropriate, respond or refer with recommendations to

local petitions and councillor calls for action.

(10)    To make certain appointments to outside bodies as agreed by Council.

(11)    To determine applications for grant aid from the Community Chest, either through Panels for individual Local Area Councils, or through the Panel of Local Area Council Chairs for countywide applications.

(12)    To refer and receive appropriate issues for consideration to or from

other Council Committees, and as appropriate invite Portfolio Holders to attend a meeting if an item in their area of responsibility is to be discussed.

(13)   To exercise the following functions within their area:-

(a)      the Council’s functions in relation to the survey, definition,

maintenance, diversion, stopping up and creation of public rights of way.

(b)      the Council’s functions as the Commons Registration Authority for common land and town/village greens in Northumberland.

(c)       the Council’s functions in relation to the preparation and maintenance of the Rights  ...  view the full agenda text for item 1.


RESOLVED that the Membership and Terms of Reference for the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council agreed by Council on 26 May 2021 be noted.





Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Dickinson.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 328 KB

The Minutes of the meeting of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council held on Monday 12 April 2021, as circulated, to be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.



RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council held on Wednesday 21 April 2021, as circulated, be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.




Unless already entered in the Council’s Register of Members’ interests, members are required to disclose any personal interest (which includes any disclosable pecuniary interest) they may have in any of the items included on the agenda for the meeting in accordance with the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council on 4 July 2012, and are reminded that if they have any personal interests of a prejudicial nature (as defined under paragraph 17 of the Code Conduct) they must not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must leave the room. NB Any member needing clarification must contact the monitoring officer by email at Please refer to the guidance on disclosures at the rear of this agenda letter.


Councillor Foster advised as she would be speaking as local member on behalf of residents on application 20/01768/FUL she would withdraw as Chair for that item and would withdraw from the meeting once she had spoken on the item and take no part in the determination of that application.




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



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. 





RESOLVED that Councillor Beynon would take the Chair for the following item.



20/01768/FUL pdf icon PDF 386 KB

Change of use: vehicle depot to material recycling facility (B2 Use Classes)

Watsons Yard, Barrington Road, Bedlington, Northumberland

NE22 7AH



Change of use: vehicle depot to material recycling facility (B2 Use Classes) 

Watsons Yard, Barrington Road, Bedlington, Northumberland 

NE22 7AH 


R Soulsby, Planning Officer provided an introduction to the application with the aid of a power point presentation.


P Johnstone addressed the Committee speaking in objection to the application.  Her comments included the following information:


·       She was addressing the Committee speaking on behalf of residents who were very upset about this application from three separate parishes.

·       The application site was on Barrington Road and was not on the industrial estate, and had historically been used for commercial/storage purposes and it should not be allowed to be used for industrial purposes.

·       A number of new housing estates and individual properties had been built in close proximity to the site and the officer at the previous meeting had not been aware of a new property which had been built just 50m away from the application site. These were not part of the original settlement of Bedlington Station.  The lack of knowledge of the local area was apparent. 

·       Residents were aware that if this application was refused at this stage and the applicant appealed and won then the County Council would be liable for costs, however the residents considered it was the duty of the County Councillors to support their residents and this support was much needed in this instance. 

·       The site visit did not take in any views from residential properties and no skips were in operation at the time and therefore Members did not experience the noise from the site.  The applicant had also moved wagons after 6pm the evening before, which was in contravention of the existing permission, to hide the views and proximity of the residential properties. 

·       She questioned the suitability of the metal shed to house the machinery to be used as buildings such as this were notorious for containing asbestos.

·       The photos contained in the objections showed how close the skips were to properties and the type of waste and rubble collected.

·       The noise currently from the site with the skips already caused distress to neighbouring residents once the trommel was introduced this would cause more noise and disturbance.  This would rotate for 30 minutes per hour for 10 hours per day with all rubble being tipped inside.  A front loading machine would also be used inside the building.  All this with skips coming in and out for 10 hours per day and 6 hours on a Saturday, provided that the timescales were adhered to.  This amount of noise had not been accounted for and policy GP23 was read out to the Committee.

·       This was not the right place for this type of facility, they could not stress how close this was to residential properties.  She highlighted a YouTube video in which the Director of Planning had stated that outdoor space was important to towns and communities and how people shouldn’t be forced into cars to seek out this type of area.

·       Just because this area had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


20/03389/FUL pdf icon PDF 521 KB

Proposed residential development of four dwellings (as amended 21.12.2020)

Land South Of Centurion Way , Centurion Way, Heddon-On-The-Wall, NE15 0BY



Proposed residential development of four dwellings (as amended 21.12.2020) 

Land South Of Centurion Way , Centurion Way, Heddon-On-The-Wall, NE15 0BY


R Laughton, Senior Planning Officer introduced the application to the Committee with the aid of a power point presentation.   Members were advised that a late representation had been received in objection to the application which did not raise any additional issues but reiterated objections in respect of the height of the proposed dwellings and the justifiable need for additional housing in Heddon.


L Twizell addressed the Committee speaking in objection to the application on behalf of residents.  Her comments included the following:-


·       She lived opposite the proposed development and was speaking on behalf of other residents as she felt so passionate about this development and the effect it would have.

·       The village had been phased to spill down, keeping roof lines one under another affording residents wonderful views over the Tyne Valley. This could be achieved on this development, however the developers had decided to ignore this option and had chosen to build two storey dwellings which they attempted to disguise by saying there were single storey from the road with a pitched roof making it almost double the height

·       Previous applications which had been granted all had been restricted to 1m roof level below the road and she asked why had this not been required on this application which would have a bigger impact.

·       The village would loose precious open space feeling and it was not just the loss of view which was an issue.

·       The benches on either side of the site were left by the Mining Institute for the people of Heddon to enjoy the view and were part of the cultural heritage of the area.  The benches were used by the local nursery, provided respite for a local family who came to enjoy watching the birds of prey, were used for social occasions such as firework displays, New Years Eve celebrations or just by residents to enjoy the sunset.

·       The houses if constructed would totally take away the view and feeling of openness which would be replaced by tarmac drives and the view into the windows of new properties.

·       A possible extra 16 vehicles would have a detrimental effect on noise levels, pollution and road safety, with the safety of children who ride their cycles and skateboard down the hill at great speed and play in the street at risk. 

·       Traffic problems already existed with large delivery vehicles required to reverse the length of the bending road when they couldn’t get through with cars already being damaged by passing vehicles as the road was so narrow.

·       After being asked at the site visit would she prefer these dwellings or a barn, not that it should be a choice between the two, she advised she would prefer the barn as a garage would be constructed 15m away from her and her neighbour’s front window, with even less distance to the garden boundary.  The light and openness would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.



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



RESOLVED that the information be noted.




The report reviews the issues raised in a petition received setting out concerns about a series of Planning Enforcement cases in Lynemouth. This report sets out the background and matters arising in these cases and the specific circumstances.  


Additional documents:


The report, which was introduced by the Director of Planning reviewed the issues raised in a petition received setting out concerns about a series of Planning Enforcement cases in Lynemouth and set out the background and matters arising in these cases along with the specific circumstances.


The Vice-Chair (Planning) advised that this was being dealt with by way of the Petitions Protocol.


S Nicholson, the lead petitioner addressed the Committee in support of her petition.  Her comments included the following:-


·       She appreciated the statement made by the Director of Planning in his introducing the report and understood the actions being taken and thanked the Committee for the opportunity to address them on behalf of the residents involved.

·       Following research on the front elevation she quoted “the elevation which faces onto your private garden and is usually screen by fencing or walls etc is classed as the rear elevation” therefore lots of these sheds were in rear gardens and not the fronts.

·       The residents had always classed these as their back gardens as it was where miners, as this was a mining village, grew their vegetables, just as if it was an allotment, often to enter into local competitions.

·       Her husband, had during the course of his business as a builder, questioned Building Inspectors regarding planning permission being required for sheds, and they had all responded that they had not heard of this.

·       The Council had caused a lot of stress and worry in the village as letters had only been sent to some residents and not others and had not stated to which structures they related to.  This had affected the mental health and wellbeing of many residents with stress caused the thought of having to pay for this planning permission.  She asked that the Council put the welfare of residents before legislation. She understood that this action had to be taken, but people were the priority.

·       She was confused by the 4 year rule, stating that the newer sheds would look better and be in better condition and be more structurally sound than older ones and felt this was discrimination based on a number.

·       This anxiety had all been caused by the actions of two residents out of the 1058 residents of Lynemouth.

·       She questioned the actions taken in respect of some of the sheds and also the meaning of the word “expediency”.

·       The village was already suffering due to the global pandemic.  The village had always been a lovely place to live and she and others would continue to protect their way of life.  These gardens gave pleasure to many residents allowing them their private outdoor space with the sheds being needed for the storage of gardening equipment and such like.   Most residents were working class families or retired couples who only wanted to enjoy their quiet and peaceful gardens.

·       She asked that this unnecessary action be ended.


The Director of Planning explained the precise term “expediency” in the planning system.  He advised that there were a lot  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.