DEVELOPMENT: Scrutinise plan carefully
The planning application for a new retail park on the outskirts of Alnwick has been lodged.
Should the people of Alnwick welcome this as a Christmas present? I wonder.
The Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Plan was adopted earlier this year by a 4:1 majority.
In respect of retail development, the Neighbourhood Plan says: ‘This section considers how the Plan can and should support a locally distinctive retail offering and other town centre facilities, attractive both to residents and to visitors.’
It goes on to set demanding standards of proof in respect of any significant out-of-town-centre retail development proposal.
Crossing closure will make railway line like the 'Berlin Wall' claims Blyth resident
Sea fret - a look at the foggy phenomenon which spoils sunny days in Northumberland
HMP Northumberland prisoner died after swallowing drugs smuggled into the jail by his mum
Cost of living in the spotlight at Northumberland council meeting
Walrus which visited Seahouses is put down by Norwegian authorities
Planning ‘permission’ should surely mean just that.
This is our town. Through our Neighbourhood Plan and our elected representatives we should come to a view as to whether a proposed development is desirable and appropriate, not simply defer to the professionals, less still to vested interests.
The application includes a 75-page retail statement and impact study, which merits scrutiny, but call me a cynic, why has the applicant made the submission in December, such that half the allowed consultation period will be gobbled up in the Christmas/New Year holiday?
Let’s defend the principles and policies behind our Neighbourhood Plan.
Let’s scrutinise this proposal very carefully to satisfy ourselves that all ‘permitted’ development really does meet the needs and best aspirations of our community.
Chairman, Alnwick Markets