Cow sheds prompt concern

Enforcement action may be taken to repair cattle sheds at Percy Wood Caravan Park.

The parish council has previously written to Northumberland County Council about the dilapidated state of the sheds.

And last month the parish was told that the matter is being investigated.

Councillors heard that letters were sent by the county to the owners in May and September 2012, stating that the authority was considering enforcement action but also offering the possibility of grant aid towards the repairs but the owner has not responded.

In a letter to the parish council, the county council stated that enforcement action has not yet been taken.

The building is unoccupied so the only action available to the county council is to issue an urgent works notice or serve a repairs notice.

It is only possible to force the owner to undertake the bare minimum works necessary to make the building waterproof and secure.

If the owner refuses, the council can undertake the work istself and seek costs from the owner. This has not been pursued as yet as there is concern that the bare minimum works required (removing slates and covering with tarpaulin) would not be in the building’s interests.

The case is being reveiwed by the county council which is also seeking legal advice on the next step.

DRAINS CAUSE QUITE A STINK

Smelly drains caused a Swarland resident to leave his property, the parish council heard.

At last month’s monthly meeting, a member of the public told councillors that, while the stench had subsided after the installation of smell arrestors last year, it is now back.

He reported that over the summer the smells were not as bad but at the beginning of October they returned and were so bad that he had to leave his home.

He told the council that a set of consultants were investigating the problems and were also checking levels again at but were using inaccurate plans.

Clerk Lisa Hamlin confirmed that she had spoken to Northumbrian Water and was told that the company was unaware that problems had returned.

The man in charge of the investigative works is to contact the resident directly to discuss the matter further.

HELP FOR PARISH HALLS

Donations have been made to the two village halls in the parish.

Swarland Village Hall was given £2,400 while the annual donation for the Jubilee Hall at Newton on the Moor is to be replaced with the council buying a new notice board which will cost under £1,000.