Rothbury Parish Council

Estate changes don’t go far enough

Changes to the proposed second phase of the Duke of Northumberland’s Whitton View estate have been criticised by parish councillors as not going far enough.

Chairman Coun Jeff Reynalds said the suggested amendment did not address their belief that the new development should have its own entrance from Alnwick Road and affordable homes should not be limited to one part of the site.

Coun Steven Bridgett said there was very little change in the plans, apart from moving the access slightly.

He said the affordable housing was proposed on bog land that would get very little natural light in summer and winter because of trees.

“If they put private housing there, it would be very difficult for them to sell it, based on the limited natural light, so why is it affordable housing’s being put on that part of the estate?”

He said: “It’s kind of out of sight, out of mind. Whitton View is a great example of mixed development and I would have liked to see that in this new development as well.”

Referring to a planned play space, he said: “I take great umbrage at the fact that Northumberland Estates have still not met their responsibilities at the current Whitton View.”

Members agreed to raise that lack of a play area among shortcomings at the original Whitton View as well as the need for work on the boundary fence and broken street lights which were preventing the county council adopting the estate roads.

Coun Bridgett said the affordable housing would be good for local people and the private homes would boost numbers for local schools. But he could not support it unless there were essential improvements in the design. “It depends on how much the Estates are prepared to compromise,” he said.

Councillors visit repair site

Councillors are to visit the site of a planning application for a garage roof repair at Gate House, Garleigh Road, where the garage has been demolished. Coun Reynalds said it was a main entry to the village.

First election in at least 25 years

Villagers will vote for a new parish council in May for the first time in at least a quarter-century. An election is being called because there are 10 nominations for nine seats. The council, established in 1894, is one of Northumberland’s oldest.

CDs could be final straw for rooks

Hanging reflective CDs in the treetops could be the final straw for rooks and drive them away from the village centre, Coun Mark Gilson said. But he was reluctant to do that in case the CDs fell and injured anyone.

Road resurfacing faces brief delay

Resurfacing of roads including Bridge Street, Haw Hill, Church Street and Gravelly Bank to the Cottage Hospital will be delayed briefly until engineers have checked that telephone ducting is not blocked as BT prepares to install superfast broadband in Rothbury.