Video conference meeting of the Parish Council

It has been agreed to hold a meeting of the Parish Council via Zoom on Monday 8th June at 7.45 pm.

This will be the first formal electronic meeting so please bear with us if there are any IT problems.  Parishioners are welcome to observe although they may not ask questions either before or during the meeting. Instead, please email any questions to ridingmillclerk@gmail.com by 12 noon on Monday 8th June and these will be answered during the meeting.  Questions for County Councillor Anne Dale should also be emailed to the Clerk who will forward them to Councillor Dale and she will reply directly to the resident.

An agenda will be displayed on this site by Wednesday 3rd June which will include the link and meeting password for Zoom.

May meetings – Postponed

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Parish Council’s Annual General Meeting (Monday 11th May) and the annual Parish Meeting (Thursday 14th May) have been postponed.  The Parish Council is exploring the possibility of holding electronic meetings and once a date for the next meeting has been agreed, details will be published on the website and notice board.

If in the meantime you have any issues you wish to raise with the Council, please contact the Clerk at ridingmillclerk@gmail.com

 

 

Fold House, Church Lane, Riding Mill

Some people in the village have now received correspondence relating to a consultation for the proposed new ‘country house’ on the edge of the village south of Church Lane & Long Rigg. The planning consultants, Cundall Johnson, “have tried to focus the letter drop towards the residents around Church Lane and those that may be able to view the site from their properties although due to the topography of the site we expect those able to view the dwelling itself will be limited.” A copy of the letter has been placed on the Parish Hall notice board in the village.

This online consultation, in lieu of a face to face meeting due to Covid 19, is to provide feedback from the village in order to provide a Statement of Community Involvement which will be included in the planning application. All residents are encouraged to comment on the online feedback form on

https://fold-house.com/

Should any resident wish to comment and not have access to the internet the planning consultant’s details (Cundall Johnson) are on the Parish Hall noticeboard and they will provide paper copies on request.

In order to be able to provide an informed comment, please note that planning permission for a single dwelling within the green belt can be granted but only if it complies with the conditions of paragraph 79 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). as follows:

“Planning policies and decisions should avoid the development of isolated homes in the countryside unless one or more of the following circumstances apply:

  1. a)  there is an essential need for a rural worker, including those taking majority control of a farm business, to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside;
  2. b)  the development would represent the optimal viable use of a heritage asset or would be appropriate enabling development to secure the future of heritage assets;
  3. c)  the development would re-use redundant or disused buildings and enhance its immediate setting;
  4. d)  the development would involve the subdivision of an existing residential dwelling; or
  5. e)  the design is of exceptional quality, in that it:

–  is truly outstanding or innovative, reflecting the highest standards in architecture, and would help to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas; and

–  would significantly enhance its immediate setting, and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.”

Comments at this stage are for the designers and their consultants. Planning permission has not yet been applied for. When it has, comments should be made on the NCC web site.

The Parish Council (PC) has no powers to approve or otherwise the planning application when it is made. The PC is only able to make informed comments in the same manner as individuals.

 

Broomhaugh and Riding Parish Council

9th April 2020

 

Tennis Club Development Proposals

The Tennis Club (TC) has provided the Parish Council (PC) with an update on their proposals, please click here fore a copy (RMTC Development Consultation). The issue was discussed at the council meeting on 10th February where the following was accepted by all Councillors present:

1&2 Sponsor/Logo – this does not require the PC’s consent or approval therefore no comment;

3 Screening – no objections but the TC has been asked to check whether planning consent will be required;

4 External sign – this does require the PC’s consent in its capacity as owner of the verge which is not included in the lease to the TC. This may require planning consent and it is for the TC to make an application if necessary. The PC will seek to ensure that any sign is suitable in terms of colour and design;

5 Pathway – this had already been agreed in principle at the PC meeting of 11th December 2017 on the basis that level access is required. We have informed the TC that we would like a neutral colour – preferably charcoal.

6 Covered social area – we have asked the TC to provide full details for this proposal which it is anticipated will require the TC to obtain planning consent. It will also require the PC’s consent as landlord (See below as to consent).

Floodlights – this is recognised to be the most contentious aspect of the TC’s proposals with those residents who have contacted the PC on this issue. Out of 39 letters received by the PC all were opposed to this proposal or to some aspects of it. (We cannot comment on what views have been expressed to the TC).  It is the PC’s understanding that planning permission will be required. As such, the proper forum at which this proposal should be considered is the planning application process. Councillor Anne Dale outlined the application process including appeals. She stressed that planning is a highly technical area and the County Council’s planning officers look in depth at those technical aspects in accordance with both national and local planning policies.

 

The PC has taken into account the tennis club’s statement that “In view of representations made in person at the December 11 presentation, in feedback forms, and in further discussions and correspondence, it is the judgement of the committee that further evaluations of the proposed installation of floodlighting will be required. These evaluations will examine in further detail all feedback which is still being received and will encompass the estimated cost of floodlighting; the availability of grants and other financial support; the cost of maintenance and repairs; times of operation; the environmental impact; and the impact on neighbouring properties and residents.

It is anticipated these evaluations will be detailed and complex, and will take a significant time to undertake. Once they are completed, the RMTC committee and membership will assess the feasibility of the floodlighting proposal before consulting further with neighbouring residents, the wider population of the village and the parish council”.

Accordingly, as no planning application has been made, nor is apparently imminent, the council has no decided views either for or against this part of the proposal. When a planning application is made the PC will consider the issue in greater depth and decide what (if any) comment is appropriate.  As I am sure you will already know, individual members of the public, including residents and members of the TC can make their own objections and/or comments to the planning officers.

It may be helpful if I clarify that as landlords of the tennis courts and adjacent land, the PC are bound by the terms of the lease to the tennis club. These include among the obligations of the Tenant (i.e. the TC):

“Not to erect any building or other structure on the Premises or any part thereof except as shall be approved as to site dimensions and otherwise by the Landlord or its surveyors”

The law, as we understand it, implies that such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld. (What is “unreasonable” at the end of the day would be a matter for a Court of Law to decide). In other words, as landlords, the PC cannot put forward unreasonable objections to the TC’s plans in this respect. As stated above, councillors feel that the planning officers are the people best placed to weigh all the differing views in the balance. If we usurped the planning process by making objections now, it could be argued that we would be in breach of the terms of the lease.

The councillors have asked me to reassure you that all views from residents will most certainly be taken fully into account in deciding on any response at the planning application stage. It is a difficult balancing act at times to assess village amenities such as sports, against the impact on nearby residents. On the one hand, we do want to encourage people to lead fit and active lives through sport. On the other hand, we are mindful that many want this to remain a quiet residential area.

In conclusion, at the present time councillors neither support nor object to the social area and floodlights. When the planning application is made – at which point the PC hopes to have more detailed proposals to hand – it will consider what its formal response should be.

 

Library Services Public Consultation

Northumberland County Council is seeking your views to help it decide the future of the library services it provides.

“We would like to understand how you use the library service at the moment, what services are important to you and how we can improve these services in future. You do not need to be a regular user of library services in order to complete this survey – we are interested to hear your views whether you use the library services regularly, just occasionally or even if you have never used a local library service”.

To take part in the survey click on the link below – consultation ends 16th March

https://northumberland.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRNGEN/WPAC/CONSULTATION