Another neighbourhood plan in north Northumberland is reaching its final stages and residents are being encouraged to have their say.
The final draft of the Lesbury Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan has now been published, with consultation running until 4pm on Monday, February 11.
The plan’s steering group, set up by Lesbury Parish Council, is urging everyone in the parish to submit their views on what they describe as a document which ‘includes modest, straightforward and direct ideas drawn from wide consultation with the community over the last 18 months’.
A spokeswoman said: “The plan captures what really matters to the community, what local people say they love about this parish and where improvements over time could be made.
“It shows the strength of feeling in the community for preserving what is good and making sure developments do not damage the landscape, history and beauty of this much-praised tourist attraction.”
The plan has five goals, with the first being to ensure that any houses that are built are of the highest quality and that buildings in the parish blend in with the distinct and unique features of Bilton, Hipsburn and Lesbury.
The second is around homes that are needed in the parish – small-scale developments at a cost and design that meet the needs of young families as well as the elderly who may want smaller houses.
It is pointed out that the Government’s definition of affordable in relation to properties for sale – 80 per cent of market value – would mean ‘affordable homes’ in the Lesbury parish of almost £250,000.
Goal three is to support the provision of new community and business facilities, with Alnmouth Station as a hub and focus for this; to support Hipsburn Primary School; to protect existing community facilities; and to allocate land which is highly valued by the community as local green spaces.
The fourth goal is to provide better signage and greater prominence to some of the parish’s heritage assets, such as the church and the Reading Room.
The fifth and final goal is to support projects that will improve the area – new facilities at the station, an accessible bridge from Steppey Lane to the village a focus this year, attracting volunteers willing to work with young people, and backing local businesses such as the pub and Post Office.
The final draft plan and supporting documents are available online – http://www.lesbury-pc.org.uk – while printed copies are also available in the Post Office and Village Hall.
Three consultation events are also taking place where residents can find out more and share their views: Saturday, January 12, 10.30am-1pm, Lesbury Village Hall; Wednesday, January 16, 7pm-9pm, Hipsburn Primary School; Tuesday, January 29, 7pm-9pm, Lesbury Village Hall.
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service