Agenda and draft minutes

Tynedale Local Area Council - Tuesday, 9th March, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Nichola Turnbull 

Items
No. Item

191.

PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED AT A VIRTUAL PLANNING COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Minutes:

The Chair advised members of the procedure which would be followed at the virtual meeting and of the changes to the public speaking protocol.

192.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Minutes of the meeting of the Tynedale Local Area Council held on 12 January 2021, as circulated, to be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Tynedale Local Area Council held on 12 January 2021, as circulated, be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.

193.

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

Minutes:

Councillor Riddle declared a personal and prejudicial interest in planning application 21/00070/FUL as the application was in his name.

194.

POLICING AND COMMUNITY SAFETY UPDATE

Inspector Garry Neil will be in attendance to give an overview and answer questions about policing and any community safety matters in the Tynedale area.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Inspector Garry Neil to the meeting to give an overview and answer questions about policing in the East and West Tynedale command areas.

 

Inspector Neil explained that he had been appointed as the Neighbourhood Inspector for Tynedale in September 2020 following Inspector Bridges retirement.  He highlighted the following:

 

·       A new resourcing model had been implemented by Northumbria Police at the beginning of 2020 which had seen a 40% increase in resources in the rural area.  This included the creation of a Rural Crime Team, for which he was the Inspector.  The team included a sergeant, 2 detective constables, 3 constables and a civilian analyst.  They concentrated on poaching, plant and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) theft.  Significant results had recently been achieved with an organised crime group located in Stocksfield, Prudhoe and South Shields; a number of warrants had been executed and plant recovered.

·       50 rural crime volunteers had been recruited, mainly in the west, and more were being actively sought.  Training was provided on reporting incidents, evidence required, grading of risk and radio training.

·       Statistics were provided for the previous 12-month period and how these had changed due to Covid:

·       The number of incidents had reduced by 4,444 (11%) crimes in the Northern Area Command.

·       East Tynedale – 5% increase in offences violence against the person primarily without injury (harassment, stalking, public order offences). Reduction in burglary dwelling 40 offences less (36%).  Anti-social behaviour had increased by 100% with residents reporting neighbours for having visitors when covid restrictions were in place and for travelling to rural locations.

·       34% and 40% increase in domestic abuse in East and West Tynedale respectively due to relationships breaking down and indivdiuals spending more time at home together and relationships breaking down due to this and child access issues.

·       West Tynedale – 14% reduction in overall crime, 20% increase violence against the person (60 offences), vehicle crime down 60%, burglaries down 50%.

·       Priorities included:

-      Staff coverage and availability of staff due to the individual or family member needing to shield, or having to self-isolate due to testing positive for Covid.

-      Investigating reports of visitors.

-      Speeding.

-      Vulnerability and sex offender visits.

-      Domestic abuse victims who all received a safeguarding follow up call.

 

Members of the Committee discussed a number of issues and responses were given as follows:

 

·       The Inspector agreed that staff or cameras would be deployed to investigate concerns or public perception of speeding in the following areas: Allendale Road and Corbridge Road in Hexham, A695 around the schools in Stocksfield, Bardon Mill.

·       It was comforting to residents to see ‘bobbies on the beat’.  More staff had been recruited with 40% located in rural areas, including Hexham.

·       The boundary between East and West Tynedale was located to the west of Corbridge, Matfen, Ryal, Ingoe, Belsay, Kirkharle.

·       A meeting was scheduled to be held the following day with colleagues from Cumbria and Durham police forces and representatives from the Forestry Commission  ...  view the full minutes text for item 194.

195.

DETERMINATION OF PLANNING APPLICATIONS pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To request the committee to decide the planning applications attached to this report using the powers delegated to it.  (Report enclosed as Appendix A.)

 

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 committee was requested 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.

DEVELOPMENT CONTROL

Councillor Cessford then vacated the Chair, for Planning Vice-Chair Councillor Gibson to chair the development control section of the agenda, as was the arrangement for all Local Area Councils.

196.

20/03984/FUL pdf icon PDF 240 KB

Resubmission: Replacement dwelling

Fairfields, Lowgate, Hexham, Northumberland

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resubmission: Replacement dwelling

Fairfields, Lowgate, Hexham, Northumberland

 

There were no questions arising from the site visit videos which had been circulated prior to the meeting.

 

The Planning Officer introduced the application with the aid of a powerpoint presentation and advised that there were no updates following publication of the report.

 

N Turnbull, Democratic Services Officer, read out a statement from Parish Councillor Tom Gillanders, which would be attached to the signed minutes and uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

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

 

·       The report provided a synopsis of the planning history of the site.  Due to the residential caravan having been in situ in excess of 20 years, the use of the caravan was immune from enforcement after 10 years, which in effect meant they had permanent consent for a residential property which could be lived in all year round.

·       In accordance with Green Belt policy a replacement building for the same use would be permitted, if it was not significantly larger than the current building.

·       This application could not be compared with a conversion application previously considered by the Committee, where the original building had been removed.

·       The issue of whether a proposal was materially larger considered not only the percentage of floor area or volume increase, it also looked at the existing site, impact on openness, the dimensions and design of the property.

·       Previous former Tynedale policies considered an increase of 33% to be a limited extension to a building in the Green Belt, however this definition was no longer used in the NPPF.  A general rule now considered that something up to 50% could be considered not to be a substantial increase or a limited extension to an existing building, provided the design and issues raised above, were subordinate or not excessive.  Officers did not consider the proposal to be materially larger than the existing dwelling.

·       The application proposed a single-story building which was not significantly higher than the existing structure (18cm higher).

·       The red line defined the curtilage of the property and did not encroach further into the Green Belt.  The applicant also owned the adjacent paddock (the land outlined in blue in the power point presentation).

·       All the properties surrounding the site had been notified of the planning application and a site notice had also been displayed at the site entrance to fulfil the statutory notification requirements.  No objections had been received from any of the neighbours.  Two letters of support had been received.

·       A previous application, which had been dismissed on appeal by the Planning Inspector, had proposed a 1.5 storey building with an increase of 140% on the original dwelling.  Pre-application discussions had been held which had resulted in the proposal being considered in line with comments in the Inspector’s decision.

·       Condition 6 proposed the removal of permitted development rights for extensions, which was common in countryside and Green Belt applications.

·       The current building was visible from the road between Hexham and Lowgate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 196.

197.

21/00070/FUL pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Replacement of redundant poultry shed with steel framed lean to agricultural building

Blakelaw Farm, Bellingham, Hexham, Northumberland, NE48 2EF

Minutes:

Replacement of redundant poultry shed with steel frame lean to agricultural building

Blakelaw Farm, Bellingham, Hexham, Northumberland, NE48 2EF

 

Councillor Riddle, having previously disclosed a personal and prejudicial interest, switched his camera off and did not participate in the following application.

 

There were no questions arising from the site visit videos which had been circulated prior to the meeting.

 

The Senior Planning Officer introduced the application with the aid of a powerpoint presentation and advised that there were no updates following publication of the report.  The application was being considered at committee as the applicant was an elected county councillor.

 

Councillor Kennedy proposed acceptance of the recommendation to approve the application, subject to the conditions contained in the officer’s report.  This was seconded by Councillor Hutchinson and unanimously agreed.

 

RESOLVED that the application be GRANTED permission for the reasons and with the conditions as outlined in the report.

198.

The Northumberland County Council (Land at Hazel Hurst, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland) Tree Preservation Order 2020 (No. 09 of 2020) pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Planning Officer introduced the report with the aid of a powerpoint presentation and advised that there were no updates following publication of the report.

 

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

 

·       An application could be made to the Local Planning Authority to obtain permission if work on the trees was required in the future.  There was no charge for this type of application.

·       A provisional order had been made on 3 November 2020 under delegated powers following a request from a member of the public.  The process required that the provisional tree preservation order be confirmed within the 6-month provisional period, otherwise it would cease to have any effect.

·       The Tree and Woodlands Officer had assessed the value of the group of trees together and the impact that this had on the public realm and amenity in the area.  Together they were considered to be worthy of protection to preserve the overall woodland look.  If any of the trees, such as some of the birch trees which were leaning over at an angle, fell or required removal, the TPO would ensure that they would be replanted and the positive impact of the woodland on neighbouring amenity be maintained.

·       The TPO would last for perpetuity, unless modified or revoked.

·       A 5-day notice process enabled a landowner to notify a Local Planning Authority if a tree was dangerous or dying and required felling.  If approved the Local Planning Authority would recommend that a replacement tree be planted; the cost of replacement would lie with the landowner.

 

Councillor Sharp moved the recommendation to confirm provisional order 2020 (No. 09 of 2020).  This was seconded by Councillor Stow and unanimously agreed.

 

RESOLVED that the Northumberland County Council (Land at Hazel Hurst, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland) Tree Preservation Order 2020 (No. 09 of 2020) be confirmed.

199.

The Northumberland County Council (Land North of Ostlers Cottage, Anick, Northumberland) Tree Preservation Order 2020 (No 10 of 2020) pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Planning Area Manager - Development Management introduced the report with the aid of a powerpoint presentation.  An extra slide had been included from the presentation previously circulated to show the location of the trees.  She advised that there were no updates following publication of the report.

 

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

 

·       Ivy on the trees had not been found to be damaging to the health or longevity of the trees by the Tree and Woodlands Officer who was happy that the requirements of a TPO were met.

 

Councillor Hutchinson moved the recommendation to confirm provisional order 2020 (No. 10 of 2020).  This was seconded by Councillor Stewart and unanimously agreed.

 

RESOLVED that the Northumberland County Council (Land North of Ostlers Cottage, Anick, Northumberland) Tree Preservation Order 2020 (No. 10 of 2020) be confirmed.

200.

PLANNING APPEALS UPDATE pdf icon PDF 157 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. (Report enclosed as Appendix B.)

Minutes:

The report provided information on the progress of planning appeals.

 

In response to a query, the Development Service Manager agreed to verify the address of an enforcement appeal, listed at the bottom of page 7 of the report, to Councillor Horncastle by email after the meeting.

 

Councillor Dale disclosed an interest in the above item and switched her camera off and left the debate until the discussion on the enforcement item was concluded.

 

RESOLVED that the information be noted.

201.

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

To reply to any questions received from members of the public, which must be received in writing 5 days in advance of the meeting or.  Questions can be asked about issues for which the Council has a responsibility.  If questions are received in advance of meetings it will increase the likelihood of an answer being provided at the meeting.  (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:

There were no questions from members of the public.

OTHER LOCAL AREA COUNCIL BUSINESS

On the conclusion of the development control business at 3.37 pm, Councillor Gibson vacated the Chair.  The meeting adjourned for approximately 5 minutes.  Councillor Cessford returned to the Chair and continued the meeting at 3.45 p.m.

202.

PETITIONS pdf icon PDF 146 KB

This item is to:

 

1.    Receive any new petitions: to receive any new petitions.  The lead petitioner is entitled to submit a written statement to introduce their petition, and a response to any petitions received will then be organised for a future meeting;

 

2.    Consider reports on petitions previously received:

 

Speeding Traffic on B6318 at Chollerford

(Report attached as Appendix C.)

 

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

Minutes:

This item was to:

 

a) Receive any new petitions:

 

No new petitions had been received.

 

b) Consider reports on petitions previously received:

 

Speeding Traffic on the B6318 at Chollerford

 

The Local Area Council considered the petition which requested that Northumberland County Council implement traffic calming measures on the B6318 between Chollerford roundabout and Walwick.  (A copy of the report is enclosed with the minutes as Appendix C.)

 

A statement in support of the petition from Helen McCall, the Lead Petitioner, was read out by N Turnbull, Democratic Services Officer.   The statement would be attached to the signed copy of the minutes and would be uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

The Principal Programme Officer (Highways Improvement) explained that he had been unable to arrange a site visit with the Lead Petitioner due to the restrictions in force during the Covid-19 pandemic.  As these would hopefully be relaxing soon, he would arrange a socially distanced meeting outside with the Lead Petitioner and Councillor Gibson, as the local member.  He commented that:

 

·       The permanent counter was very well hidden.  It was a grey box hidden in the grass verge on the southern side of the road in the extended 40-mph section next to the new housing development.

·       The accident data related to the area from the roundabout to Walwick Hall and covered the previous 4/5-year period.  It was obtained from Gateshead Council, who maintained accident data for all local authorities within the Northumbria Police area.  The accident in 2018 was as a result of driver error.  There may have been more incidents prior to this period.

·       Traffic calming measures were only implemented in areas where the speed limit was 30 mph, or less.  It would be very difficult to implement physical measures in an area where the speed limit was 40-mph.

·       The missing signs would be investigated.

·       A copy of the petition had been sent to Northumbria Police who were dealing with a new speeding enforcement strategy under their Operation Modero initiative.

 

In answer to a question, he confirmed that the frequency of calibration of the equipment would be checked.

 

Members noted that the footpath was narrower in places and it was suggested that some of the trees might have tree preservation orders on them.  This would be investigated and widening and the condition of the footpath explored.

 

The Chair suggested that a meeting be arranged as soon as possible with the lead petitioner, and possibly virtually, in the first instance.

 

Councillor Gibson, the local member, confirmed that he had visited the location earlier that day and confirmed the presence of the permanent counter.  He acknowledged that the stretch of road in questions was fast, straight and downhill.  He recalled a motorbike fatal accident a number of years ago.  Speeding had become one of the most talked about issues at meetings, but unfortunately it was difficult to prevent inconsiderate drivers.

 

RESOLVED that the issues raised in the petition and the contents of the report, be noted, including:

 

a)    A site visit or virtual  ...  view the full minutes text for item 202.

203.

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:

Members received the following updates and explanation of the impact of Covid-19 on front line services from the Area Managers from Neighbourhood Services and Technical Services:

 

Neighbourhood Services:

 

·       Severe bad weather w/c 8 February had resulted in widespread disruption to refuse collections, street cleansing and grounds maintenance.  He apologised for the delays as many properties had to wait until the next fortnightly recycling collection.  He was pleased to report that there had been no injuries, damage to vehicles or property.

·       NEAT operatives, working their shorter winter hours (28 hours per week) had been required to assist with town centre gritting.

·       Final preparation was taking place for grass cutting which was due to start in the next couple of weeks, dependent on ground conditions.

·       Weed control activities were due to start in May without use of blue dye.  A trial of glyphosate alternatives was to be undertaken during the year.

·       A programme of work was being developed for clearance of litter on rural A roads which required traffic management.

·       Enhanced cleaning of public conveniences and additional emptying of litter bins was being programmed with increased footfall expected to continue with staycations due to the pandemic.

·       Use of road sweepers had ceased during the adverse winter weather as they were not effective when the ground was frozen, however, the routes had recommenced.

·       Tony Mousley had been appointed to the post of Waste Senior Team Leader.

·       Extra collections of the 1100 litre bins at the glass recycling sites continued to be required.

·       Garden waste collections had commenced with the yearly charge remaining at £43.00.  Routes had been revised to accommodate an increased in demand for the service.

·       Presentation rates and yields remained encouraging during the glass collection trial.  A report summarising the effectiveness of the scheme was to be considered in July.

 

Issues raised by Councillors included:

 

·       Additional weekend collections were required of waste bins at Tyne Green.  Bins at this location were to be included in the extra collections during the spring and summer.  Officers were also looking at the possibility of removing the flaps on waste bins with lids, as the bins were often not full, but dog waste bags had been left on the ground.  It was believed individuals were reluctant to touch the handles to lift the lids during the pandemic.

·       The bad weather refuse collection updates had been extremely helpful and shared with residents.

·       Review of public toilet facilities.  It was understood that capital funding was proposed to upgrade and refurbish some public toilet facilities.  Cleansing had been increased to 3 visits per day.

·       The recruitment process was underway to fill the vacant Trees and Woodland Officer post.  Members commented on the helpfulness of the previous post holder.  Queries could be sent to the Trees and Woodland Team Leader.

 

Technical Services:

 

·       The first 2 weeks in February had been particularly challenging for staff due the prolonged period of freezing temperatures, ice, snow and 10-foot drifts in some areas of Tynedale.

·       During this 2-week period, there had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 203.

204.

MEMBERS LOCAL IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES - PROGRESS REPORT pdf icon PDF 333 KB

To receive a progress report.  (Report attached as Appendix D.)

Minutes:

The Local Area Council received a progress update on Members’ Local Improvement Schemes as at 1 February 2021.  (A copy of the report is enclosed with the minutes as Appendix D.)

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

205.

LOCAL AREA COUNCIL WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 183 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).  (Work Programme attached as Appendix E.)

Minutes:

A list of agreed items for future Local Area Council meetings was circulated.  (A copy is enclosed with the minutes as Appendix E.)

 

Members were invited to email any requests to the Chair and / or Democratic Services Officer between meetings.

 

RESOLVED that the work programme be noted.

206.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, 13 April 2021 at 2.00 p.m.

Minutes:

The next meeting would be held on Tuesday 13 April 2021 at 2.00 p.m.