Belford Parish Council

Working together on plan

Villages may team up to defend their acclaimed coast and its hinterland.

Coun Geoff O’Connell said Belford’s decision to investigate creating a neighbourhood plan, which would give it greater powers to shape the parish’s future, had attracted interest from neighbours.

He said: “It appeared in the Northumberland Gazette. Since then, approaches have come in from Beadnell and other local parishes, saying they would rather like to join in and prepare a neighbourhood plan for the whole of our patch.”

Most of those expressing interest were from the coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

He said it had been made clear at a recent meeting at Bamburgh on the county’s planning core strategy that communities felt it overlooked the urgent need for affordable homes in tourism hotspots.

Belford shared that interest, and might like to designate land at South Road for housing instead of light industry.

Flying slates in high winds

People are afraid to pass a terraced house on Brewery Bank in the high winds because of flying slates, Coun Karon Ives said.

Coun O’Connell believed the property was in a dangerous condition. Members agreed to refer it to the county council’s public protection department.

No space to host public events

Belford Hall does not have a room villagers can use for public events, acting

chairwoman Coun Brenda Stanton said.

She had clarified the situation with hall director John Harris, who said it had been obliged to open to the public for a period after receiving an English Heritage grant, but that had ended.

Co-op victim of ‘ringing changes’

Cash was taken in a burglary at a farm on March 13-14, PC Alan Morton, told the meeting.

In the past month there had also been a case of fraud at the Co-op, known as ‘ringing the changes’, in which a woman made purchases and asked for cash back in a way designed to confuse the assistant.

Whole road to protect tyres

Speed humps designed to slow drivers have been found to rip the inner surfaces of car tyres as they become worn, Coun O’Connell said. Members agreed to ask the county council to use humps across the full width of the road instead. He said the response to a call for Speed Watch volunteers had been ‘disappointing’.