Belford Parish Council round-up: Neighbourhood plan, A1 and speed limits

Rogerson Road, one of the newer housing developments in Belford
Rogerson Road, one of the newer housing developments in Belford

Following plenty of discussion and the formulation of ideas, now is the time to start getting into the writing of the Belford Neighbourhood Plan.

Updating members last week, county councillor John Woodman said that there had been a reasonable response to the surveys which had gone out to businesses and residents and the feedback was being analysed now.

“We have spent quite a lot of time generating thoughts and it’s actually time to do something and put it into planning speak,” he added.

With this in mind, the steering group has agreed to apply for funding to pay for a planning consultant to do just that.

It is proposed to use experienced planner Jenny Ludman, who is also working on the Tillside and coastal (Seahouses, Beadnell and Bamburgh) plans.

Coun Woodman confirmed that Ms Ludman has said she is willing to do it.

• Parish councillors were encouraged to have their say on the latest proposals for upgrading the A1 in north Northumberland.

The parish council will also draw up a collective response, while it was hoped as many members as possible would attend the consultation event in the village, which takes place at Bell View on Saturday.

One of the proposed overtaking sections will be at Belford, although it has been altered since the proposals in May this year due to concerns over safety for pedestrians crossing the A1 at the B6349 junction.

The fact the Mousen Bends is not included remains an issue and county councillor John Woodman said that people need to try to convince Highways England to change the scope of the project to include it.

• Councillors eventually agreed to make no comments on plans for a single-storey, side sunroom at 9 Middleton Cottages, although members had discussed the fact that the extension is as big as the original property and that it may set a precedent for the neighbours to do the same.

• Coun Chris Rosby praised the quality of the road repairs that had taken place around the village.

• Councillors welcome proposals for a 20mph speed limit outside the first school, but want the same at the middle school.

• Due to a lack of any major rises in expenditure, members agreed to keep the precept at the same level for 2017/18.