Neighbourhood plan begins at public meeting


A public meeting to discuss the Belford Neighbourhood Plan, which could shape future development in the village, will take place next month.

The parish council is working towards developing a plan, which gives local communities the power to create their own planning policies for future development in the area.

Residents are invited to go along to the Community Club at 6.30pm on Tuesday, February 10, to find out more.

The parish council is keen to get the community involved. At its January meeting last week, chairman Brenda Stanton told members: “We have got some publicity up and running. I believe there’s some useful feedback coming from Facebook.

“We had a very productive meeting last week – Robbie and Tracy have been working very hard on getting this going.”

Coun Robbie Redpath has created a video advertising the meeting, which has been shared on the village Facebook groups. He is also producing 1,000 fliers which will be distributed around the village.

The Neighbourhood Plan allows communities to be creative, and will be used by Northumberland County Council to guide development to the most appropriate locations for Belford.

Information on the fliers explains: “Development is not a bad thing; people need houses – especially houses they can afford to live in. Businesses need people. We all need visitors. The mix, the style, the location, the constraints of development should be set locally. Hence a neighbourhood plan.”

Coun Ian Carruthers, vice-chairman, said: “The feedback I’m getting from people in the village is that they don’t quite understand it.”

But Coun Redpath said: “At least if people are asking ‘what is it?’, they are talking about it.

“This is the community’s chance to voice its opinions –we want to get as many people along as possible.”

Coun Stanton added that she was keen to get the schools involved.