Town councillor raises planning concerns
The value of neighbourhood plans, in light of approval for three controversial schemes on the County Hall site in Morpeth, has been questioned by Berwick Town Council's Coun Georgina Hill who raised the issue at Northumberland County Council's north area committee meeting last week,
She said it seemed there had been political pressure on officers from the administration.
Coun Steven Bridgett said that planning officers are politically neutral, so in the absence of evidence, he would not endorse that, but he did share concerns on the scale of development in Rothbury.
Couns Trevor Thorne, John Woodman and Gordon Castle all emphasised that neighbourhood plans must play a key role in the planning framework.
Coun Heather Cairns said that the real issue is that there is still no core strategy in place for Northumberland, while Coun Dougie Watkin pointed out that all of the local plans must fit with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), described by Coun Jim Smith as ‘a developers’ charter.