Agenda and draft minutes

Castle Morpeth Local Area Council - Monday, 13th September, 2021 4.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Space - Block 1, Floor 2 - County Hall. View directions

Contact: Lesley Little 

Note: Due to Covid restrictions only those who have registered and are actively participating will be allowed access to the meeting. Any member of the press or public may view the proceedings of this meeting live on our YouTube channel at 

No. Item




J Foster, Vice-Chair (Planning) (in the Chair) outlined the procedure which would be followed at the meeting.





Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Darwin, Dickinson and Sanderson.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 374 KB

Minutes of the meetings of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council held on 12 July 2021 and 9 August 2021 as circulated, to be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair. 


Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council held on Monday 12 July 2021 and Monday 9 August, 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 Towns advised that he had spoken to the applicant’s agent regarding the planning application but did not express any views. Councillor Bawn advised that he had received representations from the developer but had not expressed any views.




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.




21/00236/FUL pdf icon PDF 384 KB

Redevelopment of existing land and buildings and the erection of 7No dwellings

Land North Of Katerdene, Fulbeck, Morpeth, Northumberland




Redevelopment of existing land and buildings and the erection of 7No dwellings

Land North of Katerdene, Fulbeck, Morpeth, Northumberland


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


R Laughton, Senior Planning Officer introduced the application to the Committee with the aid of a power point presentation.  Updates were provided as follows:-


·       Page 43 – Item 9 Recommendation should read :


“That this application be REFUSED permission subject to the following: …”


·       There were typographical errors in paragraphs 7.4 and 7.5 and to clarify the aim of these paragraphs was to confirm that it could be argued that the site was not considered to be in an isolated location in reference paragraph 80 of the NPPF this was due to its proximity to the existing farmhouse although the site was not located in a village itself it would not be included under definition of paragraph 79 of the NPPF to be able to support services in other nearby villages.




Late representations received after the agenda had been published had been emailed to members in advance of the meeting and paper copies were circulated at the meeting with a short adjournment provided to ensure that Members had sufficient time to read these prior to consideration of the application.  The meeting recommenced at 4.31 pm.


T Michie addressed the Committee speaking in support of his family’s application.  His comments included the following:-


·       Katerdene had been in the family since his Grandfather purchased it in the 1950’s.  It was no longer operating as a commercial farming unit with all members of the family pursuing different career paths to agriculture.

·       This was a resubmission of a former application which following advice from Planning Officers was withdrawn amended and resubmitted. 

·       The size of the application had been changed from the original along with the design and location of the houses ensuring that these did not encroach past the boundary of the existing yard, buildings and areas which were granted a Certificate of Lawfulness which also covered the paddock area which was not included within this application.

·       A lot of discussions had been undertaken related to the principal of the development and technical issues and if Members provided their support to the application then they had solutions to the noise, land contamination and drainage and delegated authority could be given to the Planning Officers for sign off whilst the necessary reports were produced. 

·       A great deal of information had been provided in support of this application. On the first application Highways only required technical changes to be made however they now said that this application was wholly unacceptable and he questioned why this was the case as they were not aware of any policy changes. 

·       They could link to the path on the new by-pass or simply walk down Fulbeck Lane the same as the existing residents of both the old and new properties.  They did not understand why walking down the lane or linking to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.



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.


A short break was held at this point and the meeting reconvened with Councillor J Beynon, in the Chair who advised that the agenda would be reordered and the next item would be the Policing and Community Safety Update.




Inspector John Swan has been invited to provide an overview and answer questions about policing and any community safety matters in the Castle Morpeth area.  (Councillor Swan’s attendance at the meeting is still to be confirmed.)



Inspector John Swan and Sergeant Les Robson were in attendance to provide an update on policing and community safety within the Morpeth area.   The following information was noted:


·       Police in Morpeth had received a total of 8,259 incidents during the past year, which was low in comparison to some other areas, with the majority in relation to public safety and welfare.  There had been 2,307 crimes reported however at least one third had been from the two mental health institutions and HMP Northumberland which meant that 1649 in total from residents within the Castle Morpeth area which was low in relation to other areas with the same population. 

·       Liaison Officers had been attached to the Morpeth Police Station to work with St Georges and Northgate Hospitals to build relationships and work to resolve issues. This work would also cover the new housing estates in proximity to the hospitals ensuring residents felt safe.

·       There had been issues within the Hadston and Widdrington areas with Antisocial Behaviour (ASB) and off road biking with some vehicles involved in being seized. 

·       Work had been undertaken in relation to ASB within Morpeth town centre and Carlisle Park, and homelessness and begging issues working with NCC Safeguarding teams to get help and support to remove the issue. 

·       Youth ASB warnings and letters had been issued throughout the year and work was undertaken with housing providers.  There had been a slight increase in reports of ASB following the end of lockdown, however this often related to young people just sitting chatting without any ASB occurring.

·       Cameras had been adjusted to take account of the reopening of the night-time economy with an increased police presence and work undertaken with door staff and licensees.

·       Morpeth was a safe place to live with a lower crime rate than other areas however the Neighbourhood Team would continue to work to make improvements for residents. 


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


·       Morpeth Police Station had never been closed during the panedemic, however the reception area was no longer open to the public.

·       The Police were aware of cars using the underground area of the Morrisons car park at night and the ASB occurring with a number of arrests made and warnings provided.  Any video evidence of ASB should be forwarded to the Police to allow action to be taken.

·       Information would be forwarded to colleagues in relation to vodka bottles and security tags from Asda being thrown from cars between Loansdean and Clifton on the A197. 

·       Strategies have always been in place in relation to any domestic violence (DV) and positive action taken.  The Specialist Investigation Unit (SIU) takes on all DV incidents with specially trained officers in place.  There was an awareness of the potential for an increase in DV incidents during lockdown and extra contact was made by the Neighbourhood Team to known victims at medium risk and work was also undertaken with partners and foodbanks etc to ensure identification of potential  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.



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.


?      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.



L Little, Senior Democratic Services Officer advised that questions had been received as follows:


From: Heddon and Ponteland Branch Labour Party


“Under the government’s new National Bus Strategy, Northumberland County Council is required to produce a “Bus Service Improvement Plan” (BSIP), with a deadline of 31st October 2021. What public consultation is being undertaken to inform the development of this Plan and the work of the proposed “Enhanced Bus Partnership”?  How can individuals and interested groups contribute ideas for new or improved routes, better integration and other measures to improve local bus services? “


Response provided in writing in advance of the meeting:


The Enhanced Bus Partnership consultation is being led by Transport North East and supported by the region's local authorities, including the county council.  The County Council are actively promoting the consultation via news releases, social media and encouraging stakeholders such as town and parish councils to get involved. Both individuals and groups are being encouraged to participate in contributing to the development of a regional ‘Bus Services improvement plan’ further information on this initiative as well as a public engagement questionnaire can be accessed via the Transport North East website”


A further question was then submitted:


Thank you for your response and the proposed answer to the questions submitted for next Monday's LAC regarding improvements to bus services.  I must say that publicity for the questionnaire seems to have been rather poor. I have been looking into the issue for a few weeks now, and have just looked again at the NCC website for information on bus policy, and there is no pointer to the questionnaire. I haven't seen anything in Pont News and Views. I don't recall any information in the annual Council Tax correspondence or the occasional paper that is distributed. So I would question how serious the council is on consultation. Perhaps this comment could be raised at the upcoming LAC and considered by the relevant officers?”




This consultation is being led by Transport North East (TNE) and not by Northumberland County Council.  The Bus Service Improvement Plan is set against very strict and tight deadlines for submission to DfT which has affected the ability of both NCC and TNE to effectively engage with all stakeholders at this stage, once the BSIP has been submitted next month, we will then have further opportunity to consult and feed in proposals ahead to any intervention being finalised.  In the meantime either Neil Easton or someone from TNE would be happy to meet with any individuals or groups to discuss any opportunities or concerns they may have”.


Morpeth Town Council


“Can the Town Council be provided with written guidance with regards to NCC’s s106 protocols including how best to engage with Planning Officers.   The Town Council believes the early stage discussion is an important step in the process and would appreciate the necessary guidance to ensure requests are being heard at the earliest possible time.  Members of the Council appreciate how busy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.



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.



No new petitions had been received. 


An update was provided in relation to the petition “Enforcement in Lynemouth” as follows:


Out of the eight remaining cases, four have been evaluated and are being closed. The final four will have their evaluations completed shortly.”




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.





M King, Highway Delivery Area Manager was in attendance to provide an update to Members and answer any questions.  Members were advised that social guidelines in respect of Covid were continuing to be followed.  The Highways Engineers post had now been filled with Lee Dundas stepping up.   Routine inspections were continuing with the backlog reducing.  Reactive third party reports have continued to increase with extra officer resource allocated, however the forecast September date for completion had been missed.  The reason for the increase in reports would be investigated.  The routine gulley programme was continuing and some progress had been made with the backlog with a review of the routes and frequency currently being undertaken.  A full list of schemes would be circulated after the meeting.  Agreement to fill all vacant posts within the team had been given. 


In responses to comments from Members, P Jones, Service Director advised that there was a large highways programme ongoing and resources had been provided.  Gully tankers were to be replaced with larger capacity tankers which would improve gully cleansing in areas where this was needed.  Traffic Management would need to be put in to allow the cleaning of the middle of the A197 road outside County Hall.  A discussion would be held outside the meeting with Councillor Dodd regarding the A69 slip road roundabout between Ponteland and Throckley. 


Neighbourhood Services


P Lowes, Neighbourhood Services Area Manager provided an update to the Committee advising that there remained a high demand for garden and bulky waste with targets being exceeded.  Grass cutting was on target and street sweeping would be targeting leaf hot spots shortly with Members asked to notify of any problem areas.  Preparations were commencing for winter works and he would welcome any feedback on areas which Members felt need to be looked at.  The weed killing trial was coming to an end and a report would be provided on the results in November and be shared with Members.  All verge cutting targets had been achieved.   It was hoped that assisted bulk collection would be able to be reinstated.


An update would be provided to the Communities and Place OSC and Cabinet in October on the glass collection trial.  It had been expected that there would be a drop in the levels at take your own collection sites, however these had gone up 22% during Covid which had skewed the results of the trial.  The trial had been very successful and had been welcomed however its continuation and potential for roll out to other areas was very much dependent on Government funding.


Morpeth Town Centre was swept on a regular basis however it had been the larger sweeper that had been used recently which was unable to go onto paths and they would look to use the mini-sweeper as well.   Councillor Beynon highlighted that years ago business proprietors swept footpaths outside their own premises which had helped with the appearance of the town centre. Members highlighted issues with weeds with some  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.



This report provides an update on the Local Transport Plan (LTP) programme 21/22 and the preparation for the 22/23 programme.


Additional documents:


P Jones, Service Director – Local Services, provided an introduction to the report which gave an update on the Local Transport Plan (LTP) 2021/22 and the preparation for the 2022/23 programme.


The key aspects of the Countywide programme were outlined including the increased level of DfT funding and he advised that some additional schemes had been added to the previously consulted upon schemes.  The complexity of some of the schemes within the County were highlighted.


Specifically in relation to the Castle Morpeth area it was reported that of the 55 projects within the area, 14 were complete including 20mph scheme at Cambo First School, Barrington corner improvements, works on the B6309 Stamfordham to Whittledean as well as a new zebra crossing at Broadway and Darras Hall.  Five had gone through consultation and design and had been issued to the Area Team including works at Front Street in Lynemouth and Cresswell Road in Ellington, Meadowfield at Ponteland, improved signage along the riverbank at Stakeford and works at Hebron Village and Ponteland around car parking. 23 Schemes were at the design stage including pedestrian and cycling improvements.  The safety teams had also taken forward a number of other high risk sites such as Blagdon Lane junction with the Great North Road, the C115 bends west of Chevington Moor and the 13 remaining were still to be programmed.


In respect of Highways Maintenance in the area there were a total of 32 projects, 14 of which were complete which included the majority of micro-surfacing and surfacing schemes, although as this was weather dependent, two schemes had been deferred into the next year.   Nine works orders had been issued mainly in relation to surface dressing, with a further five in design and two waiting to be programmed. 


Councillor Towns advised that the bridleway which had been put in following safety concerns after the restoration of the open cast from East Farm Road to the A1 was severely overgrown and asked that it be looked at to make usable.  In response to a question relating to the LTP 30 mph scheme at Trittlington First School which had initially been delayed due to the possible routing of the A1, it was thought this was still at the design stage and an update would be provided.  An update would also be provided on the Pegswood 20 mph scheme. 


In response to Councillor Murphy’s question regarding the progress of the Morpeth Road to Paddock Hall scheme which had been funded by ex-Councillor Ledger, Mr Jones advised that a process to provide updates to the LACs in terms of LTP schemes in a similar way to those provided for Members Small Schemes on a quarterly basis was being developed which would provide this type of information.


Mr Jones was thanked for the report and update.


RESOLVED that the information be noted.




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) 



The work programme was attached and the Chair asked that should anyone have any items they would like to raise they should contact him.  It was hoped to be able to have an update on the A1 dualling at the next full meeting in November. 


RESOLVED that the information be noted.




The next meeting will be held on Monday, 11 October 2021 (Planning only)



The next meeting which was a Planning only meeting would be held on Monday 11 October 2021 at 4.00 pm.