We aren’t nimbys, we judge on merit

Coun Jeff Watson
Coun Jeff Watson

Warkworth Parish Council is determined to protect its village’s unique charm and medieval origins from controversial housing developments, its chairman has said.

In his annual report, Coun Jeff Watson admitted that, over the last year or so, the group’s business has been dominated by a swarm of applications for new properties.

Recent schemes include 37 homes being approved on appeal, while two applications for a total of 15 homes were reluctantly granted by the north area planning committee – but could still be refused by the National Planning Casework Unit.

A scheme for around 50 homes is awaiting a decision by the county council, while a string of other applications have come before the parish council.

Coun Watson said: “We can not be accused of being nimbys, as this council has considered every application on its own merits. For example, the parish council was in favour of the development of 27 affordable homes off Guilden Road and is delighted with the resulting properties.

“We aren’t against progress and understand the village must not stagnate, but we are determined to retain Warkworth’s medieval origins and its unique charm.

“Other schemes, where I consider the concerns were legitimate, have resulted in bids being withdrawn or, at the moment, not lodged.”

Away from housing, he said there are various areas of concern that the parish council is addressing. These include the church wall, village notice boards and any bank-side erosion.

He added that the parish council has been working to solve the issues of vandalism and opening times at the Beach Road car-park public toilets.