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Reworked plans for Haugh Head Ford, plus more from Wooler Parish Council

Haugh Head ford and fish pass on Wooler Water.' Picture by Jane Coltman
Haugh Head ford and fish pass on Wooler Water.' Picture by Jane Coltman

Some progress has been made on the proposals for the Haugh Head Ford and fish pass at Wooler, which originally sparked anger from residents over a perceived lack of community involvement.

This came to a head at a public meeting organised by Wooler Parish Council in February, at which the Environment Agency said that it would not rush ahead with any work.

Last week, Coun Mark Mather reported following a meeting that a new preferred option is now being worked on, which, among other aspects, will retain the byway and see a new footbridge constructed at that point.

Coun Mather said: “I think it’s important we keep that byway, because it is well-used.”

Coun Anthony Murray added: “A year ago, they were very negative and at this meeting they were very positive.”

APPROVAL REVIVES CONCERNS

Wooler Parish councillors were very disappointed that an outline bid for up to 36 homes on land north of High Fair had been approved without any change to the proposed access.

Highways safety was a key concern when the council first heard the plans in 2013 and when they were amended in 2015, as the only route into the site is via Ramsey’s Lane and Common Road.

However, the county council said it could not require any road widening or other major works as part of the approval and the developer did not think it was reasonable to be included as part of a section 106 legal agreement.

WARNING AFTER SHEEP WORRYING

Coun Mather reported that there had been three incidents of dogs worrying sheep on Weetwood Moor in a week, the last of which resulted in sheep being put down. Following police advice, he warned that any dogs off leads among livestock may be shot.

WORK TO UPGRADE PLAY-AREA ZIPWIRE

Following a tendering process, members have agreed to pay almost £3,000 to replace the fenced-off area which holds the wood chippings for the zipwire in the Scott’s Park play area. The issue was raised in the annual ROSPA safety inspection of the play park.

APPEAL BY POLICE AFTER BURGLARY

Police are asking for information and for anyone who is offered jewellery for sale to contact them following a burglary in Ryecroft Park. Coun Mather said that all officers in the Alnwick and Berwick sectors are to receive extra training on poaching offences.

CALL FOR PATROLS OVER BROKEN GLASS

Police are to be asked to patrol in Scott’s Park after repeated reports of broken glass in the play area. The concerns were raised by Coun Malcolm Pringle and Coun Mather said that the person carrying out the weekly safety inspections had been told to ensure all glass is removed.

POSITIVE FEEDBACK FOR FESTIVE EVENT

A total of £455.16 was raised for HospiceCare North Northumberland and the Great North Air Ambulance at the carol service. Coun Caroline Cumming said: “Two or three people who have lived in Wooler for years said that was the best carol service.”