North Sunderland Parish Council: Parking permits, planning and play area

James Street in Seahouses.
James Street in Seahouses.

A residents-only parking scheme will not be going ahead on a key Seahouses street following consultation.

Last month, we reported that those living on James Street, as well as Kippy Law, were being asked for their views on a proposed residents’ permit parking zone with time-limited waiting – Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

James Street is a key route as it is used by school buses and provides access to the medical centre for ambulances.

However, of the 50 responses to the consultation, 16 residents were for the restrictions, 32 against and two neither for nor against.

The top three reasons for rejection were that residents didn’t think a scheme was needed at all, that the parking restrictions wouldn’t work with the doctors’ surgery and that the scheme would not allocate enough permits per house.

County councillor Guy Renner-Thompson said: “As a result of the consultation, I can confirm the residents’ parking scheme will not be going ahead. However, I recognise there is a parking problem for some residents of James Street and will continue to look for a solution.”

• Councillors in Seahouses have agreed to object to plans for an extension at a property on one of the village’s newer estates.

An application has been submitted to build a two-storey side extension as well as a single-storey rear extension at 14 Castle View, Broad Sands.

At Monday night’s meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council, a letter from objector Stephen Clement was read out, in which he claimed that the description of a two-storey extension was misleading as it was two storeys on top of the existing garage, forming a three-storey structure.

The resident of St Aidan’s also raised concerns about overlooking from his property from a ‘massive storey-height screen at third-floor level’, which is directly opposite his house through a gap in the tree line.

The applicant, Corrina Scott-Roy, was at the meeting and said she was disappointed by the objection letter, which she said was ‘vociferous’, adding that it was perfectly acceptable to develop on top of a garage.

She also said that a distance of 21 metres is acceptable in overlooking terms and the proposal is more than 50 metres from the properties on St Aidan’s.

However, councillors were concerned about the 3.2-metre-wide window in the third storey looking towards St Aidan’s and felt that the proposals represented over-development, given that planning officers refused outline permission on the original application for the estate submitted by developers, before some of the proposed properties were withdrawn.

Coun Mick McCarthy said: “I accept what Corrina says about overlooking, but to me this seems like over-development. I have concerns that when the estate was built, it was not meant to be seen and there was not meant to be any more development.”

Coun Ailsa Shiel added: “From the plans and the sound of it, it’s not good at all. It would be bad for the estate; if one person does it, then everyone can.”

• Councillors are to object to a bid to build two new properties on greenfield land to the north-west of Seahouses.

The application is for self-build/custom plots on land north-west of North Cottage, at Shoreston Hall.

Coun Maureen Bramley said: “It will dominate the skyline.”

Coun Sylvia Hillan said: “Unless it’s permanent residences, we don’t want any more holiday lets.”

But Coun Mick McCarthy pointed out: “It’s outline so it’s just about if it’s okay to build there and my sense is that it’s not.”

However, there were no concerns about plans to build an additional first-floor ensuite bedroom and alterations to the ground floor to provide staircase access at 185 Main Street in North Sunderland.

• A response from the county council had been received about the whalebone arch and model train at the first-school site, which is no longer used, agreeing that, if necessary, they could be transferred to the parish council.

• Members agreed that a funding bid to Awards for All for money to overhaul the James Street play area should be submitted.

• Parish councillors agreed to follow their practice in previous years and make a donation of £50 to the Great North Air Ambulance Service. Members also declined to make a donation to Community Action Northumberland, partly due to the parish’s membership of the Northumberland Association of Local Councils.