Letter

Please allow me to respond to the letter you recently published from Mr G Wylde of Beadnell as I, and many others I believe, entirely support his devastatingly critical views of the part played recently by senior planning officers at Northumberland County Council in certain important applications relating to our environment.

As many of your readers will know from news items and letters in The Northumberland Gazette, I and Embleton Parish Council are named as claimants in a Judicial Review in respect of the decision to grant planning permission for an industrial farming facility at Dunstan Steads near Embleton.

It is highly regrettable that such action is necessary as a result of what are thought by us and others to have been serious procedural errors on the part of planning officers which led to permission being granted in the face of massive opposition from locals and visitors alike.

It hadn’t occurred to me that AONB might be being interpreted by NCC, as Mr Wylde suggests, as Arears Obviously Needing Buildings but that interesting thought, which would be funny if it weren’t so worrying, seems to have some logic.

The facility approved for Dunstan Steads would make much more sense on the applicant’s other farm in Duns, Scotland, rather than in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England but that wouldn’t serve his case for the residential building he is on record as also seeking to erect between Embleton and Dunstanburgh Castle.

In our barrister’s case for the Judicial Review seven errors or failings on the part of officers are cited as reasons why the planning permission should be quashed by the High Court and we should shortly hear whether our case will be granted permission by a judge to be heard.

The same barrister recently acted successfully for another challenger of the Council’s planning officers in a case which the Council chose not to spend money fighting. The Dunstan Steads case will perhaps demonstrate whether we are being well served by our planning professionals.

David Ainsley,

White Rigg,

Embleton