Agenda and draft minutes

North Northumberland Local Area Council - Thursday, 24th June, 2021 3.00 pm

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

Contact: Heather Bowers 

Items
No. Item

1.

MEMBERSHIP AND TERMS OF REFERENCE

The committee is asked to note the following membership and terms of reference for the North Northumberland 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 North Northumberland area:

 

Chair: G Castle Vice Chair: S Bridgett; Vice Chair (Planning): C Hardy

 

Quorum - 4

 

Conservative: G Castle, C Hardy, M Mather, W Pattison, G Renner-Thompson,

C Seymour, T Thorne, J Watson

 

Labour: T Clark

 

Green Party: M Swinbank

 

Liberal Democrat: I Hunter

 

Independents (Non grouped):  S Bridgett, G Hill

 

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 Area.

(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  ...  view the full agenda text for item 1.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the membership and terms of reference for the North Northumberland Local Area Council agreed by Council on 26 May 2021 be noted. 

 

The Chair stated that all members of the local area council should be involved in the Community Chest Panel and suggested that Councillor Bridgett remain as Vice Chair of the Panel. 

 

 

2.

MEMBERSHIP AND TERMS OF REFERENCE - NORTH NORTHUMBERLAND RIGHTS OF WAY SUBCOMMITTEE

To appoint 6 members to the North Northumberland Local Area Council (Rights of Way) Subcommittee, to elect a Chair and Vice Chair, and to confirm the membership and terms of reference, following the creation and delegation of powers to it by the North Northumberland Local Area Council in November 2018.

 

Six members drawn from the membership of the North Northumberland Local Area Council. Balance 4:1:1(4 Conservative, 1 Independent, 1 Labour/Liberal Democrat/ Green Party).

 

Terms of reference: To exercise functions in relation to the survey, definition, maintenance, diversion, stopping up and creation of public rights of way in the north Northumberland area, on behalf of the North Northumberland Local Area Council.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the membership and terms of reference for the North Northumberland Local Area Council (Rights of Way) Subcommittee be agreed as follows: 

 

  1. Membership: Councillors Castle (Chair), Hardy, Mather, Renner-Thompson, Seymour (Vice Chair) and Swinbank. 
  1. Terms of reference: To exercise functions in relation to the survey, definition, maintenance, diversion, stopping up and creation of public rights of way in the north Northumberland area, on behalf of the North Northumberland Local Area Council. 

 

 

3.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Bridgett. 

4.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Minutes of the meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council held on Thursday 22 April 2021 as circulated, to be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of North Northumberland Local Area Council held on Thursday, 22 April 2021, as circulated, be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair. 

 

5.

DISCLOSURE OF MEMBERS' INTERESTS

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 monitoringofficer@northumberland.gov.uk . Please refer to the guidance on disclosures at the rear of this agenda letter.

Minutes:

Councillor Mather declared a personal and prejudicial interest in application 20/02501/FULES and confirmed that he would leave the meeting whilst the item was considered.

 

(Councillor Hardy in the Chair)

 

 

 

 

6.

DETERMINATION OF PLANNING APPLICATIONS pdf icon PDF 92 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 explained how the Local Area Council was asked to decide the planning applications attached to the agenda using the powers delegated to it. (Report and applications enclosed with official minutes as Appendix A.) 

 

Liz Sinnamon, Development Service Manager explained the procedure of determining planning applications and the format of the reports. 

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted. 

 

 

7.

20/01155/S106A pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Variation of S106 agreement pursuant to planning application N/99/B/0848 dated 19.02.2002. 

Land at Mitchell Avenue, Seahouses. 

 

Minutes:

Variation of S106 agreement pursuant to planning application/99/B0848 dated 19.02.2002

Land at Mitchell Avenue, Seahouses

 

For the benefit of new members, Development Manager, Vivienne Cartmell explained that the report contained the history of the relevant site, the constraints the site was subject to, consultee responses and the tests for varying the 106  Application.

 

Members were informed that section 6 – Consultee Responses should refer to 

North Sunderland Parish Council and not Berwick upon Tweed.

 

Ms Cartmell continued to introduce the application with the aid of a slide presentation and informed members that the application sought permission to modify the requirements of the S106 to allow for changes to the open space.

 

21 letters of objection had been received and the reasons summarised in the report.

 

Members then asked questions of which the key responses from officers were:

 

·            The application submitted in 1999 approved the open space and the play area being used, however, that was not currently being maintained.  In addition there had been some ambiguity over the ownership of the access path and it was now proposed to re-orientate the open space and provide an extra £5,000 contribution for the maintenance of the open space. 

·            Officers first became involved in 2017 and could not see any reason why permission should not be granted.  There had been enforcement discussion since ambiguities had been discovered on the content of some of the agreements. 

·            There were provisions within legislation (paragraph 7.4) which allowed applications to be modified and assessed in accordance. 

·            The reason given for the modification was set out in paragraph 2.6 of the report. 

·            Anyone who submitted a letter of representation would be invited to speak at the committee.   

·            The main change was that the area would be better separated from the Coastal Strip and the County Ecologist had not provided any comment. 

·            Legal discussions could not be shared with members. 

·            Officers had worked with the applicant and were of the view that the variation of the S106 agreement met the tests. 

·            The County Ecologist had been consulted but had not made any comment. 

·            Currently the open space was unusable and not maintained but that would be tied into the S106 agreement which would improve the open space 

 

Councillor Thorne then moved approval of the application, but stated that there had been little information, however, the application had been rigorously assessed by the planning officer.  This was seconded by Councillor Pattison.

Councillor Renner-Thompson as Ward Councillor stated that there had been issues from a legal point of view and long before the current existing planning officers.  The residents of Kingsfield were unhappy with the developer and stated that the application be refused. 

 

Liz Sinnamon, Development Service Manager, informed members if the application went to appeal, given that open space is the same size as that offered within the original 106 agreement and it equally serves the same purpose in the re-orientated position and in addition additional sums of money  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

20/02501/FULES pdf icon PDF 357 KB

Proposed river restoration scheme comprising - removal of existing ford crossing and replace with new gravel ford; regrading of 400m of canalised section of river; remove fish pass; creation of inset floodplain; construction of new replacement pedestrian footbridge; removal of upstream check weirs – minor widening of approach to Coldgate Mill Ford crossing.

Land North West of Haugh Head Crossing Cottage, Wooler. Northumberland. 

 

 

Minutes:

Proposed river restoration scheme comprising – removal of existing ford crossing and replace with new gravel ford; regrading of 400m of canalized section of river; remove fish pass; creation of inset floodplain; construction of new replacement pedestrian footbridge; removal of upstream check weirs – minor widening of approach to Coldgate Mill Ford crossing.

 

Senior Planning Officer James Bellis introduced the application with the aid 

of a slide presentation.  He updated the committee by reading out a late representation received by email received from Wooler Parish Council:

 

Dear Sir Re: Proposed restoration scheme – removal of existing ford crossing and replace with new gravel ford; regarding 400m of canalised section of river; remove fish pass; creation of inset floodplain; construction of new replacement pedestrian footbridge; removal of upstream check weirs – minor widening of approach to Coldgate Mill Ford Crossing

Land North West of Haugh Head Crossing Cottage, Wooler

 

On behalf of both the Wooler Parish Council and also our County Councillor - Mark Mather, we write to express our concerns on what appears to be two outstanding matters.

 

Whilst we acknowledge that the majority of issues identified have been addressed, the question of future maintenance is still unclear. It would appear that the Environment Agency is not to maintain this Ford in future and therefore we have grave concerns as to what problems this may cause further down the river with potentially raised river levels.

 

Also, no monitoring of private wells is to be undertaken, despite this being highlighted as a potential issue. As a considerable portion of land/properties operate on private wells in and around the area of this crossing, it would seem irresponsible to not monitor the effect of this work on the water supply available to these properties.

 

Many thanks for listening to our concerns.

 

Mr Bellis recommended that the application be approved subject to the conditions in the report.

 

Members then asked questions of the officer, the key responses were:

 

  • Environmental Health would monitor the scheme initially 
  • There were approximately 8 private wells 
  • Mr Bellis was of the understanding that the bridge would not affect the flow but he had not seen a detailed design of the bridge 
  • The Environment Agency had been working with the landowners and the flood plain inset had been agreed with them 

 

Councillor Thorne then moved approval for the scheme and stated that this would improve the River Till downstream from Wooler and was a step forward environmentally, however, he did have concerns about removing the natural blockage and how the scheme would be maintained in the future.  This was seconded by Councillor Watson who also shared concerns but was sure the Environmental Agency would be able to manage the scheme.

 

In response to a query, it was clarified that Councillor Mather had taken advice from the solicitor before the meeting and had therefore declared an interest in the application. 

 

The motion was then put to the vote and was unanimously agreed.

 

RESOLVED that the application be GRANTED subject to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

APPEALS UPDATE pdf icon PDF 168 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.  (Attached as Appendix B).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the information be noted.

10.

SECTION 106 UPDATE pdf icon PDF 143 KB

For Members’ information to report the agreement monitoring and collection of s106 contributions in the planning process.  This is a monthly report and relates to agreements throughout Northumberland during the previous monthly period.  (Attached as Appendix C). 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the information be noted.

11.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

 

 

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday 22 July at 3.00 pm

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting was scheduled for Thursday 22 July at 3.00 pm.