MEP slammed for ‘patronising’ comments

AN applicant wishing to build a new extension on his Warkworth house slammed a ‘patronising’ MEP who had withdrawn his objection to his plans.

Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee last week approved the scheme to demolish an existing extension and build an new one on Castle Street after going for a site visit.

Timothy Kirkhope, Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, who owns two neighbouring properties, had withdrawn his objection at September’s meeting.

He wasn’t able to attend last Thursday’s meeting but he wrote asking members to impose conditions ‘to protect the community of Warkworth and the privacy of the neighbouring properties’.

Applicant Ian Fenwick said that enough time had been wasted by ‘vexatious objections’, which were ‘totally without merit’.

“I have no wish to support in any way the patronising comments of Mr Kirkhope to the committee and the planners,” he added.

Coun David Woodard said: “It was necessary to have a site visit. Having had one, I’m entirely happy to go along with the recommendation with the conditions that are there.”

Coun Thorne said: “We have done our planning process justice by going out and having a look.

“I do believe the conditions safeguard the neighbouring properties.”

l RETROSPECTIVE permission was given to a pub’s extraction system following a site visit by members, but an objector was unhappy with the process.

Members had deferred a decision at last month’s meeting on the application for an extraction system and ductwork at the Northumberland Arms in West Thirston so they could go and have a look.

But the owner of the neighbouring property, who spoke out against the scheme at the September meeting, was angry that the site visit had taken place without him knowing.

He claimed that Enterprise Inns had someone out making alterations to the ductwork before the site visit took place.

“If this pipework was to be on the front of the building in view of the public, you would not allow it, but as it affects one home, mine, it doesn’t matter.”

Coun Thorne said that the pub needed ‘an extraction system to ensure that neighbouring properties are not inconvenienced’.

l A SCHEME to reduce the number of homes to be built at a site in Felton was given the go-ahead.

Objections were received from the parish council and a neighbour but planning permission to build two homes already exists.

The applicant wanted to reduce this to one single-storey house and garage.

Coun Thorne said: “It’s a site for two properties now being replaced by one.

“All the other properties are two-storey, this is one-storey.

“I note the parish council is concerned with the risk of flooding but it was dealt with with the original application and there are a lot of conditions dealing with flooding.”

l MEMBERS approved a new holiday home in Bamburgh despite concerns that the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) officer had not been consulted.

The applicant was granted outline plannning permission for the single unit at Red Barns Crescent.

Coun Isabel Hunter had moved that the decision should be deferred to allow the AONB officer to be consulted, but this was not passed.

Development manager Peter Rutherford confirmed that the AONB officer is not always consulted but does look at the lists of planning applications.