At the Meeting of the Council held at Acklington Village Hall at 7.30pm on Tuesday 5 January 2016

Present: Cllrs J Newton (Chair), D Barras, G Budge, E Critchlow, N Gair, G Orr, A Sharpe, M Townshend.
The Parish Clerk in attendance – Miss E Brown

54. Apologies for absence: Councillors I Monkhouse and L Welch had submitted their apologies. The apologies were accepted.
Apologies were also received from County Councillor Watson.

55. Declarations of interest in items on the Agenda: None.

56. Standing item – Public questions – None.

57. Minutes of Last Meeting - The minutes of the meeting held on 3 November 2015 were agreed as a true record.

58. Matters arising therefrom:

a. Replacement posts for road signs – Cllr Newton was still do this but was waiting on the weather improving.

b. Resurfacing of footpath from the dog bin to the bridge – Improvements had been made from the chicane up past the dog bin but still needed doing from the chicane towards the village. The works appeared to be a gradual job and would be monitored.

c. Goal posts for play area – The Clerk would forward prices to Cllr Sharpe before 15th January so she could inform ACT; the organisation were prepared to make a donation towards the posts.

d. Play area maintenance – A quotation had been received from a contractor for the repairs identified in the RoSPA report. Cllr Barras would look at the quote and liaise with contractor. Funding would be looked at in the interim period.

e. Right of Way - Field House Farm down to the old coal road – It was agreed to remove this from the agenda.

f. Affordable housing; terms of occupation – The NCC Affordable Housing Officer had investigated the matter further and referred to previous correspondence he had received from the Agent which stated ‘I can confirm we have been undertaking marketing of the properties for rent along the agreed lines. We have some interest in the properties at the Affordable Rent and I am now in a position to confirm our preferred bidders for the properties. All have been asked to confirm their eligibility and this is set out below as received.
Despite making it apparent that it would be preferred to have interest from the village of Acklington and contacting the Parish Council, we have not had any firm interest from the village itself (except one individual). However, there has been a lot of interest from residents of adjoining parishes. Encouragingly all of the interested parties have children which would be of benefit to the local school.’

Members requested copies of the correspondence that was sent to the Parish Council by the Agent as none had been received and also copies of the terms of eligibility should the properties become vacant.

g. Ground improvements at Guyzance Memorial – County Cllr Watson had funding available to carry out the improvements which were likely to be done in the spring.

h. Trees at roadside near the junction towards the Guyzance Memorial – No response had been received from the NCC Tree Officer, although the Clerk was aware that a site visit had been carried out in early October. No works had taken place either. The Clerk would continue to chase this up. Cllr Townshend was happy to meet the Officer at the site if necessary.

i. Footpath requiring edging; Broomhill to Acklington – The Clerk had been informed that the NEAT team would be dealing with this.

j: New seat for Acklington Road – As the skip was still in place a seat had not been ordered. This would continue to be monitored with a few to installing the bench once the weather improves.

59. Standing item – Report by County Councillor Watson – None.

60. Finance:

a) Financial Summary The balance on account at 31st December 2015 is Treasurers Account; £210.98, Business Account; £6498.08.

b) Payments The following list was put before members and agreed for payment
  Date Cheque No Creditor Reason  Amount
  05.01.16 000407 E Brown Clerk's Wages / Expenses £127.83
  05.01.16 000408 HMRC PAYE £29.40

c) Receipts

  Date Debtor Reason     Amount
  09.11.15 Lloyds Interest £0.49

61. Planning:

a. To report on any planning decisions:

15/03263/PRUTPO | Tree preservation order application to crown lift lower branches of one Sycamore to approximately 4 metres in height and crown thin by approximately 15% | 25 Acklington Village Acklington Morpeth Northumberland NE65 9BL – Members had no objections. APPLICATION PERMITTED.

15/03445/FUL | Retrospective application for garage doors on a previously approved carport | The Old Joiners Shop Guyzance Village Guyzance Northumberland NE65 9AQ – Members had no objections. APPLICATION PERMITTED.

15/03381/FUL | Erection of conservatory to single storey kitchen wing | Brainshaugh House Brainshaugh Acklington Northumberland NE65 9AE – Members had no objections APPLICATION PERMITTED

15/03382/LBC | Erection of conservatory to single storey kitchen wing | Brainshaugh House Brainshaugh Acklington Northumberland NE65 9AE – Members had no objections. APPLICATION PERMITTED

15/02860/FUL | Retrospective change of use from garden room to business premises. | Field House Farm Acklington Village Acklington Morpeth Northumberland NE65 9BY – Members had no objections. APPLICATION PERMITTED

b. Planning matters pending:

14/03220/FUL – Cooksburn Mill, Acklington NE65 9AE – Change of use of land at Cooksburn Mill to accommodate construction of 4 new holiday chalets. Parish Council position: No objections to the development, we are concerned that the current infrastructure of highways is inadequate and would request Highways to carry out an assessment of the cumulative effects of developments in the area on the roads.

15/02504/FUL | Demolition of existing garage buildings and the erection of 17 residential units | Acklington Garage 9 Acklington Village Acklington Morpeth Northumberland NE65 9BY - Members considered this planning application at their meeting held 1st September 2015. Members had no objections in principle to the site being developed into housing although expressed the following concerns:
We believe the layout needs to be re-assessed due to an intrusion on neighbouring properties, particularly in relation to proposed plots 6 & 7 - it was felt that due to the elevated level of land that bungalows would be more suited to houses which would be overlooking existing single storey properties.
Members had concerns regarding access to the site due to the close proximity to existing junctions on the B6345.
Members believed the density of the properties to be in excess of the site i.e. urban density within a rural community.
Members would like clarification on the future of the existing stone boundary wall alongside the paddock.
Members had concerns relating to drainage and whether the existing system could cope with an increase from a site of this size.
It is understood that an offsite S106 obligation is to be discussed with the applicant. Acklington Parish Council would like to be involved in all elements of this discussion to ensure the wider community benefits from the proposed development.

c. To consider any planning matters:
15/04080/FUL | Proposed Garden Shed (as amended 18.12.15) | The Old Joiners Shop Guyzance Village Guyzance Northumberland NE65 9AQ – Members had no objections to this development.

Members queried the planned screening for the solar panels at the above site which were not yet in place. The Clerk would make enquiries.

62. Requested Agenda Items

62.1: Draft Budget, consideration of setting precept – An additional £100 was added to the grass cutting heading and it was agreed to set the precept at £5695 for 2016/17.

62.2: Guyzance Memorial service 18th January – The Durham Light Infantry were organising a service to be held at 11am. County Cllr Watson as a Member of the British Legion had more information.

62.3: Consideration of donations:
Acklington Village Hall – Pursuant to Local Government Act 1972, section 133 a donation of £700 was agreed.
Great North Air Ambulance – Pursuant to Local Government Act 1972, Section 137 a donation of £20 was agreed.
St John’s The Divine – Churchyard Maintenance – Pursuant to Local Government Act 1972, section 214(6) a donation of £250 was agreed.
Northumberland Citizens Advice Bureau - Pursuant to Local Government Act 1972, Section 137 a donation of £20 was agreed.
Acklington 3,2,1 Toddlers – Pursuant to Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, section 19 a donation of £100 was agreed.

63. Correspondence Received

63.1: Residents Panel – The Clerk had received correspondence from HMP Northumberland regarding setting up a meeting incorporating local councillors and residents committees of Acklington, Amble, Chevington and Warkworth which could be held twice per year. It was agreed the Clerk would set this up in consultation with Cllr Sharpe who was also a Member of ACT.

63.2: Consideration of donation to churchyard maintenance – a letter of request towards the annual maintenance had been received and this was considered with other donation as above.

63.3: Consultation on Proposal to amalgamate James Calvert Spence College South Avenue and James Calvert Spence College Acklington Road – The deadline for the consultation was 16th February. The Clerk would circulate this to Members and any comments should be returned to the Clerk so that the Chair with the Clerk could compile a response.

63.4: Animal Boarding Establishment – NCC were carrying out a formal consultation on the draft policy which would run until 31st January 2016. Members had no comments.

64. Items for next agenda –

Cllr Barras - The dip in the road to the prison was still requiring attention and a big pothole was appearing – The Clerk would chase this up.

Cllr Sharpe informed the Parish Council of a car collision at the crossroads in the village. Concerns had been raised by a resident that the coal tub planter had caused a visual obstruction, thereby contributing to the crash, but further enquiries to the police confirmed that this was not the case and the accident was the result of driver error.

Date and time of next meeting

Next meeting: TUESDAY 1 March 2016 at 7.30 pm in Acklington Village Hall

The meeting closed at 21.15