Reports from our County Councillors #131

Posted on 07th December 2021 | in Northumberland County Council

COUNCILLOR TERRY CLARK

I know many of you are getting concerned about the ever-increasing numbers of houses being used as holiday lets in Amble. I’ve been talking to the County Council about this, and it will be no surprise that it is a complex issue.

The first point is that planning permission is not required to change a house into a holiday-let or a second home. Therefore, there is nothing that can be done through the planning system as it currently operates to restrict how existing housing is used or occupied. The only issue the County Council can really look at is in relation to new houses. If there is the evidence to justify it, they can restrict the occupation of new houses so that they are only used as permanent homes.

The new Local Plan for the entire County enables this type of restriction to be put in place, but its only reasonable to do this where there is clear evidence about the amount of second homes and holiday-lets in an area. The Council can then look to see if this is causing problems to the local community.

Another way of introducing this policy can be by a local community and the Town Council creating a Neighbourhood Plan. A number of new neighbourhood plans along the Northumberland Coast include policies which restrict the occupancy of new homes.

The County Council is doing more research on the issue of holiday and second homes. The new Local Plan proposes to require all new dwellings to be occupied only as a ‘principal residence’ in parishes across the county where, according to the latest Census, at least 20% of the housing stock is not being used as someone’s main home. While the findings of the 2021 Census are awaited, in the 2011 Census the parish of Amble had only 4.6% of the housing stock falling into this category. This figure has certainly increased since 2011, but until the new figures are available we will not know if Amble will be one of the locations in Northumberland where restrictions can be imposed.

Any residents who receive literature posted from the right wing organisation Patriotic Alternative, an extreme right wing party run by former BNP members who spread their Neo Nazi hate theory and conspiracy lies, please contact the Police and pass on any information. This is a vile organisation spreading hate and fear, don’t allow it to spread its lies in Amble.

Percy Drive LTP Programme for construction (2022/23).
Safety crossing points, either a refuge or zebra crossing option will be decided at the appropriate location helping pedestrians cross safely and keeping our neighbourhood a friendly place to walk.

Merry Christmas to all.
Cllr Terry Clark   Amble, Hauxley, North Broomhill.
Terry.Clark@northumberland.gov.uk
07779 983768


COUNCILLOR JEFF WATSON

There have been some questions re the proposed trial of six Campervan places on the hard standing on the Braid. The application is currently with planning. The proposed site will be controlled, charged for, for one-night stays only and for those vehicles which have on board facilities. The site will only be bookable by digital means and will have registration numbers registered to prevent misuse. Both Warkworth P.C. and Amble Town Council supported this application at an early planning stage.
I am arranging for a speed indicator sign at the entrance to Amble from Rotary way to encourage motorists to slow down approaching the Town, these signs have been helpful at other locations in Northumberland.

I am pleased to see that work is underway at the Turner Street car park (at last!) and I understand it will be ready for use in the late Spring, it will have six electric charging points as well as some disabled parking bays. I am insisting that the facility is free of charge for at least an hour.

The new Harbour Commissioners building is nearing completion and is expected to be occupied before Christmas, it will have four retail units.

I hope you all have a good covid free and enjoyable Christmas and are looking forward to a better New Year than the difficult one we have just had.
With best wishes
Jeff Watson

07802385367
Jeffrey.watson@northumberland.gov.uk

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