Concern raised at potential loss of commercial space on High Street and more from Belford Parish Council

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Belford councillors have expressed concern at a potential loss of commercial space.

A planning application has been lodged seeking change of use from a workshop to a one bedroom dwellings on land east of 17-19 High Street.

Gillian Baker Cresswell used the converted outbuilding as a studio and workshop for her business, Belford Interiors.

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Now retired, the workshop is only used as a storage space only and she wants to turn it into a building for anyone looking for a small affordable property.

Belford Interiors.Belford Interiors.
Belford Interiors.

But Cllr Guy Renner-Thompson, chairman of Belford Parish Council, said: “I wouldn’t like to support this. It’s part of a business unit on the High Street, the old Belford Interiors workshop. It would be a loss of more commercial space on the which is something we are always against.”

"My reading of it is that it would be a one bed dwelling that would just become another holiday let.”

Cllr Julian Cunningham added: “I think it’s important we try to attract some business to the village. We’re going to end up with nothing there at all.”

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It was agreed to object about the loss of commercial space, citing the emerging Neighbourhood Plan.

Meanwhile, the parish council is to write to Northumberland County Council expressing a desire for speed restrictions at Middleton.

"People are still belting down there at a rate of knots,” said Cllr Cunningham. “I think there are grounds for restrictions and I think there are other precedents around the county.”

A speed warning sign on West Street is still in progress. The post is in place and the signage is on order.

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Funding has been awarded from the community fund for repointing of the wall by the war memorial, while a project to replace the concrete coping on top of the wall will be funded from the war memorial account. The combined works cost in the region of £1,500.

Members noted the resignation of Thomas Keys from the parish council and thanked him for his service.

"He’s been a parish councillor for a long time and was a very good one,” said Cllr Renner-Thompson.

A donation of £250 has been awarded to the Great North Air Ambulance.

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