Annual Parish Meeting

The annual Parish Meeting will be held on Monday 28th April at 7pm in the Parish Hall, Millfield Road.

A copy of the agenda can be downloaded by clicking the link below:

APM Agenda 2014

This is a meeting for all the electors of the Parish – it is not a Parish Council meeting. Reports will be received from the Parish Council, the Village Hall Trust, the School and from the County Councillor and it will enable members of the village to raise any questions or concerns – or maybe come forward with suggestions to improve life in the village.

The meeting will commence with a discussion on “Low Cost Housing – what it could mean for Riding Mill”.  


Dilston Bridge Closure from Monday 10th March

The A695 road at Dilston Bridge will be closed from Monday 10 March to July 2014.

Our understanding is that the 10 Bus will travel from Corbridge (Hill Street) directly to Hexham Bus Station via the A69.

Please find below a link to a time table of the shuttle bus that will operate from Corbridge and Hexham to stops no longer served by the Route 10.

The closure will only be for vehicles,pedestrians and cyclists will be able to cross the bridge via a temporary footbridge.

Dilston Bridge closure

Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy

The Council has recently been asked to comment on the Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy.

Consultation begins Thursday 31st October until Thursday 2nd January 2014.

NCC have arranged a number of local drop-in events where you can find out more information.

Thursday 7th November                      Prudhoe (Spetchells Centre, Front Street)

Tuesday 19th November                      Hexham (Prospect House, Hallgate)

Thursday 21st November                     Ponteland (Memorial Hall)

Thursday 28th November                    Haltwhistle (Library, Westgate)

Each event will comprise of an exhibition from 3-6pm followed by a discussion session between 6.30-8.30pm

All of the consultation documents are available to view on the NCC website: or by clicking on the links below.  Paper copies can be requested from NCC.

If you have issues which you want to raise with the Parish Council regarding the Local Plan Core Strategy please contact Councillor Dunhill.

01 Brief Guide to the Core Strategy Preferred Options Stage 2 Consultation October 2013

02 Core Strategy Preferred Options Stage 2 Consultation Document October 2013

03 Core Strategy Preferred Options Stage 2 Response Form October 2013

04 Interim Sustainability Appraisal – Core Strategy Preferred Options Stage 2 October 2013

05 Habitats Regulations Assessment – Core Strategy Preferred Options October 2013

06 Viability Assessment Consultation Paper – October 2013

07 Draft Revised Statement of Community Involvement October 2013

08 Delivery Document – Scoping Document – October 2013



Parish Council’s Position on Millfield Road – Circulated October 2010


 The Broomhaugh and Riding Parish Council’s position on Millfield Road


1          Background

Over the period 1907 to 1973 the Riding Mill Estate Company (RMEC) bought and developed land in Riding Mill, including Millfield Road, Marchburn Lane, Longrigg and Sandy Bank. Specified obligations and rights went with the properties. One obligation was to make up the road in front of the property and one right was access to all RMEC roads.

In 1973 the RMEC no longer held any land in the village which it could develop and negotiated with the Parish Council (PC) to take over its assets. These consisted of three plots of land which did not appear to be suitable for development; the benefit of covenants; and the above named roads including their 2 bridges. Only the plots of land were seen as having value, and parish residents and the PC raised a sum of money to buy the land. The conveyance of the roads and bridges was made by a separate document for which there was no exchange of money. There was no suggestion that the roads and bridges were “given to benefit the entire village” as has been stated by some. All the roads had longstanding residents’ associations which maintained the roads to the standard the residents saw fit.


2          The Law

The legal advice obtained by the PC was that its ownership of the roads did not imply any obligation to maintain their surface. This is the standard situation in England, as borne out by the briefing document prepared by the House of Commons Library on 3 July 2008, which states:

“The law on the maintenance and adoption of private roads in England and Wales is highly complex. It is contained in sections 203 to 237 (Part XI) of the Highways Act 1980. Briefly, a private or unadopted road is by definition a highway not maintainable at public expense. The local highway authority is therefore under no obligation to pay for its maintenance. Responsibility for the cost of maintaining a private road rests with the frontagers (the owners of properties with frontages on such roads).”

 “The highway authority is not responsible for maintaining an unadopted

road although it can intervene under existing legislation to repair it. Responsibility for the cost of maintenance of a private road rests with the frontagers; that is, the owners of properties with frontages on such roads. Even if it is not the frontagers who ‘own’ the road but a third party such as a property company, it is the frontagers who are referred to in the legislation.” (our italics).

 The PC is aware that some Millfield Road residents may have obtained conflicting legal advice, but remains convinced of the soundness of its case.


3          And  then…..

Sandy Bank residents paid for the upgrade to adoption of Sandy Bank in 1963. Marchburn Lane and Longrigg continue to have associations which manage their respective roads. Millfield Road (MR) had a property owners’ association for 40 years, from the 1960s to 2004, which was then dissolved and its fund of some £14,000 returned to the residents.

In 2001 questions were raised about the strength of MR bridge and the then PC requested the Highways Authority to impose a weight restriction of 7½ tonnes (even though this could not be effectively policed). This was done in 2002.

In 1980 the construction company for Meadow Park had the stretch of unmade road in Church Lane from Church Close to MR upgraded. It has been claimed that this action turned MR into a through road. Responsibility for the link was first laid at the Highways Department, and then the PC and District Council, and they were in turn approached for funding the upgrade of MR to adoption.

After the failure of the approach to the County Council, the PC of 2007 tried to address the issue by arranging a long term interest free loan with the County Council of £220,000 (an average of more than £500 per council taxpayer in the Parish) and sought support of the village to pay for the upgrade of MR and bridge to adoption (to European standards of 40 tonnes).

A referendum was held on the proposal for the village to pay for the upgrade for adoption of the road and bridge using the loan, with the possibility that this would be repaid from selling off the land partly occupied by the double tennis courts; this failed to gain widespread support (199 valid papers returned were in favour and 278 were against). A much less costly alternative was put forward by some parish residents for downgrading the bridge to 3 tonnes and restricting its width so that it could not take large vehicles and would be expected to last for a substantial period. A petition requesting the PC to adopt this solution received 363 elector signatures (nearly half the electorate in the village) within only a few days.


4          The Offer of 2009

After an unsuccessful approach to the District Council in 2008 the PC of 2009  followed through on the second proposal (which would not have permitted adoption). However, after a year’s negotiations with the County Council and the Highways Department, a package was agreed which would allow for adoption of the road alone, provided the bridge was restricted, the road improved and turning heads included. The PC offered to meet the costs for the bridge restriction and to provide a half share of the costs for the upgrade of the road to adoption with the frontagers if that was their wish, and in that package the PC would also accept the cost of 2 frontager shares (for the Parish Hall and the double tennis court land). The offer was turned down by the majority of MR property owners.


 5          New Evidence

Research reveals that concerns existed in Millfield Road about traffic from other estate roads before transfer of ownership to the PC and well before the improvement to the link. In 1970 the Millfield Road Property owners’ Association (MRPOA) sought permission from the RMEC to have bollards erected at the south end of MR, closing it to vehicular use from Longrigg. This was turned down. However it establishes that the MRPOA considered the then access from Church Lane was adequate as the sole vehicular access to Longrigg, and that the MRPOA must have considered that there was a proper vehicular link to Church Lane at that time, at least 3 years prior to the transfer of the roads to the PC. In addition, the planning application of 1979 for Meadow Park lodged in the Woodhorn archive shows that there was not a single objection to the improvement to this surface.


 6          An analogy

 The PC is concerned that many of the arguments advanced in the claims about responsibility for MR have been irrelevant. For example, it has been repeatedly stated that the fact that it is a through road absolves the residents of any responsibility for maintenance. We have been unable to find any legal justification for this point of view. However, we were interested to find a statement in the minutes of Carlisle City Council Executive on 13 September 2004 that Cumbria County Council’s policy on unadopted roads was to contribute up to 50% of the cost of works required to bring the road up to an adoptable standard, provided that the road was a through road (again, our italics). It appears that Riding Mill PC’s offer to pay half the costs of upgrading MR for adoption matched Cumbria County Council’s.


7                      Conclusion

We are concerned that the stance taken by certain residents of MR may have encouraged false hopes and discouraged a fair resolution of the issue. Residents who bought before 1979 were able to object to the improvement to the surface of Church Lane  and chose not to. Residents who bought after 1979 bought with the full knowledge of the conditions that existed from then to 2010.

The PC acknowledges some of the burdens experienced by residents of MR, and it has sought ways of alleviating them, including offering to pay half the costs of making up the road as well as the entire cost of a Parish Hall car park. But the PC has to maintain a balanced approach when using PC funds (raised through the precept charged on all properties in the village), and it felt that its offer to the frontagers was on the generous side of fair. All 4 former RMEC roads had the same legal status. Other roads in the village are unadopted. Adoption of the road would increase the value of its properties. There are both advantages and disadvantages in having village amenities on your road.

 The situation is made doubly difficult for the PC by MR not having an association or representatives to negotiate constructively on its behalf. This was illustrated in July this year when one MR resident expressed safety concerns to the Health and Safety Executive about the bridge on behalf of himself and others in the road and precipitated restrictions being imposed without the consultations promised by the PC. The PC would welcome MR residents re-establishing an association that can represent their interests.


8          Invitation

There are 4 vacant places on the PC. If parishioners are not content with the position of the PC they are welcome to put themselves forward for co-option or election so that they are in a position to advance alternative views.

The PC would in any case welcome new members of all persuasions, ages and interests to contribute towards all its work, especially on improving the amenities and safety in the village. The role is unpaid. There are no perks. It can involve a considerable amount of time, but it is also an opportunity to contribute to the wellbeing of the community.

Riding Mill Walk Five

Walk 5
Stile on footpath between Healey and Lingey Field / 
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Clive Nicholson –

A circular walk via Broomley, Hindley and Healey

Length: 8 miles / 13 km  (Time: 3½ hours)

  1. Starting from the Old Playground, cross Whiteside Bank and take the footpath that runs past Wentworth Grange to the A68. Cross the road, carrying on past the smallholding and through Shilford Wood. Passing two fields, crossing the Roe House Farm track, and then a third field, join the road towards Broomley. (For those wanting to avoid the road to Broomley, turn left at the Roe House Farm track and follow the track until it meets a road, turn left and follow this minor road to Broomley).
  2. At the far end of Broomley there is a cross roads with the main road turning to the right. Head straight along the unsurfaced byway, which passes open countryside before descending into woodland and reaching the Stocksfield to Ebchester road at Five Ways.
  3. Turn right and follow the road through the hamlet of Hindley. At the end, turn right on to the road signposted Riding Mill and then immediately left at the sign for Wheelbirks Ice Cream Parlour. This minor road becomes a track between high hedges until it reaches the first of several gates. Continue in a straight line, with the field boundary a short distance to the right until the A68 is reached.
  4. Crossing the A68, look for a finger post diagonally to the left. This permissive path bypasses the Low Fotherley farm and joins the public footpath shortly afterwards. Keep the fence to the right until its corner and then look for a ladder stile in the field ahead. Crossing the stile, head for the gate ahead. The track runs for a short distance between stone walls until a second gate. Carry on straight ahead, joining a farm track and passing a farm house. Follow the track as it turns right and then left. When the track turns right again, carry straight on through a gate and across the field, with a fence to the left. At the end, cross the stone wall.
  5. Look for a ride through the woodland and follow this to the end. The path is indistinct and care is needed to dodge the gorse and find the plank bridge over the ditch. A step stile leads into a field. Cross this diagonally to the right to a gate into the next field. Carry straight on to another gate and on to the road at Healey.
  6. Turn right, past the church, and then left at the T junction. Follow the road to Healey Barn and then go through the gate on the right at the finger post.  Follow the path through the plantation until the next road is reached. Turn left and go a short distance to the High Plains road. Taking the first ladder stile on the right, proceed downhill with the hedge to the left. On reaching Church Lane (an unsurfaced track at this point) turn right. Turn right again at Long Rigg and then follow Church Lane at the bottom until the Old Playground is reached.


Route map for Walk five / Parish Online © Crown copyright and database right. All rights reserved (0100053451) 2017

St James Parish Church, Church Lane, Riding Mill

St James Church

St James Church

Priest in charge:

The Rev Canon Alison White – 01434 682120

Curate: The Revd George Proud
Readers: Mrs Dorothy Dryden, Mrs Yvonne Greener, Mr Peter Ryder
Reader Emeritus: Mrs Cynthia Wood
Churchwardens: Mrs Lynda Padgett, Mr Sandy Gardner

St James Church website.

Sunday Services
8.00 am Holy Communion
10.00 am Parish Eucharist (coffee afterwards in the Church Cottage or Millennium Hall)
Weekday Services
Wednesday 9.30 am Holy Communion


Mid-week study group
Alternate Tuesdays at 7.30 pm at Holly House, Sandy Bank. Contact for further details: Pam Pritchard 01434 682684. Anyone who attends St James Church is welcome to come to the group at any time – no need to arrange to come or to reserve a place.

Sunday School
Creche facilities and Sunday School (Year 1 upwards) are provided each week during term time. Whether you live in Riding Mill and might want to join us every week, or you are visiting the area and would like to be with children of a similar age, you will be made most welcome. For more information, see contact details.

The choir leads singing every week in the Parish Eucharist. New members would be very welcome. If you are interested, contact the choirmaster.

St James Fair Trade
On each first Sunday of the month, Fair Trade coffee and biscuits and Traidcraft catalogues are available in the Millennium Hall at 1115 am (after the 10 am service). This is open to all (irrespective of whether you have attended the service), and orders can be placed on a monthly basis, saving postage costs on any items from the Traidcraft catalogue. Contact Elaine Ryder 01434 682644

Community and Environment Prayer Walk
Laminated sheets describing variations on a walk around Riding Mill, starting and ending at the church and providing focal points for prayer and reflection about the community and the environment, are now available by the font at the back of St James church, to be borrowed at any time that the church is open.


St James Church – Contacts
Role Name Contact details
Priest-in-charge Rev Canon Alison White 01434 682120
Sunday School Mrs Paula Stienlet 01434 632053
Choir Mr Michael Pritchard 01434 682684
Organist (first contact) Mr Marc Bryant 01434 682630
Stewardship Secretary Mr Eddie Magee 01434 682088
Church Flower coordinator Mrs Susan Law 01434 682397
PCC Secretary and Church Cottage bookings Mrs Elaine Ryder 01434 682644
Churchwardens Mrs Lynda Padgett
Mr Sandy Gardner
01661 886785
01434 682005


[learn_more caption=”Contact Canon White”] [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"][/learn_more]


See also: History of the Church