Hexham Neighbourhood Plan 7:00pm, 22 April, Great Hall, Hexham Abbey.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

The Hexham Neighbourhood Plan (HNP) will serve the Hexham community by:
•providing residents and businesses with a vehicle for collaboration and engagement on the future of the town (its spatial development),
•working within the planning framework established by the NCC’s Core Strategy (Local Plan) to add definition and detail relevant to Hexham’s character and future development,
•researching and documenting the needs, desires and ambitions of local people and businesses in respect of Hexham’s built, natural and historic environment and the opportunities it offers for people’s homes, employment and leisure,
•presenting in an accessible way the resulting plan, policies and policy conditions that will have statutory force and will place the principles of the town’s spatial development (town planning) in the hands of the local community.

The Hexham Neighbourhood Plan will be an opportunity for the community to express pride in the town, its heritage and special character, and build on these in a sustainable way that will improve the quality of life for residents and secure the town’s longer-term commercial vitality.

It can cover many issues, from green spaces to shop fronts, from housing for local people to the location of new businesses. It can allocate land for development and it can protect land from development.

Once adopted, the Hexham Neighbourhood Plan will contain planning policies and site allocations which will be used by County Council planning officers when making decisions on planning applications in Hexham Parish.

This means we have a unique opportunity to ensure that decisions made in Hexham truly reflect the ambitions and needs of local residents and businesses. Neighbourhood Plans are community led documents and as many representatives of the local community as possible must be involved.

There will be public meetings prior to its full approval so now is your chance to HAVE YOUR SAY AND INFLUENCE THE FUTURE OF HEXHAM… the first meeting is on the 22nd April, 7 pm in the Great hall, Hexham Abbey


fOR MORE INFO SEE: http://www.hexhamneighbourhoodplan.co.uk/

Planning News

The  Orchard Gap Housing development has been deferred by the West Area Committee. Due to the design of the house for plot 3. If the house on Plot 3 is of a different type will the solar panels be lost??.


Erection of 3 no detached dwellings and private access track via new
access off public highway.

Orchard Gap is at the town end of Allendale Road. This interesting note was in the planning statement.

“Whilst the submitted Design and Access Statement notes that both houses at
Plot 1 and 2 would have photovoltaic panels attached to the roofs, later email
confirmation has been received from the applicant’s agent that these will not
be attached to these houses. A detailed design layout and product details
have been submitted for PV panels to be provided on the flat roof on the
house at Plot 3.”

The next 2 permissions are current. Both have no comments against or for them at present.

Land North West Of Todridge Farm Great Whittington Northumberland
Installation of 30kWp ground mounted solar photovoltaic panels
Todridge Farm located approximately 6.7km to the north of Corbridge sits within 339 acres of grassland used for grazing livestock. The farm itself and existing farm buildings have been updated to include renewable heating from a ground source Heatpump system. This proposal seeks the installation of 30kWp of solar photovoltaic panels to provide renewable electricity to run the Heatpump system and to move towards self-sustainability.

Land At South West Of Black Hill Farm Yarridge Road Hexham Northumberland
Proposed installation of an 80 panel ground mounted solar pv array
Using Carbon Trust (www.carbontrust.co.uk) figures of 54.5gm/KWh generated, therefore 20,000 KWp x 545gm = 10.90 tonnes which is a representation of carbon emissions saved.

This permission is on the Green Belt. But will have little impact on the Landscape and its also a “Farm Scale” developement not a Solar Farm.

The Government recently stated:
“Can the Green Belt contribute to meeting the new challenge of climate change? – Yes
‘undeveloped land, both in the Green Belt and the wider countryside should play a vital role in helping tackle the impacts of climate change. This role should be explicitly acknowledged
in planning policy’”

Of course this statement does not allow inappropriate developement.

Warden Solar farm and planning

Here is my submission as a member of Transition Tynedale in support of the Planning Permission at Warden. This scheme will save 49 tons of carbon per year according to the Carbon Trust.

Details here

As a Member of Transition Tynedale I support the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) “Presumption in favour of sustainable development”. In particular” When considering development proposals the Council will take a positive approach that reflects the presumption in
favour of sustainable development contained in the NPPF. It will always work retroactively with applicants jointly to find solutions which mean that proposals can be approved wherever possible, and to secure development that improves the economic, social and environmental conditions in the area”.
The NPPF also supports the transition to a low carbon future in a changing climate and encourages the use of renewable resources (for example, by the development of renewable energy).
The 2008 Climate change Act established the worlds first legally binding climate change target.
The Boatside project is the type of Renewable Energy Scheme that supports the UK binding agreement and by implication Northumberlands share of the agreement to reduce the UKs greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% (from the 1990 baseline) by 2050.
I personally know the site which is well screened by trees. The properties which benefit by offsetting their present Carbon Footprint with the energy produced by the scheme are the only properties overlooking the site.
I wholeheartedly supports the Green Belt Planning Statement as put forward by the applicant.

If you want to comment just try as I find the cut off dates a bit arbitrary

click on the comment tab, on the page at the top of this post  also dont be put off by the wording

“Comments may not be submitted at this time.”

This means that you cannot comment without regestering or by signing in.



Proposed Sustainability Policy for Hexham town council.

Find below the Proposed policy proposed by the Town Plan Built Environment and Transport Group

Cllr Cleg has put up the proposal at Mondays Town Council meeting at Prospect House at 6.45pm.

    1. The Council should adopt a Sustainability Policy. To this end the draft policy [enclosed] should firstly be considered by the Planning and Infrastructure Committee and if recommended by that Committee should be put to Council for adoption.”

I beleve Bob Hull is going to Talk to the policy during the public speaking at the start of the meeting.

Myself and Barbara will be present and I hope that other members of TT will attend as this proposal will effect us all.


1. Background
Hexham, in common with all other communities, faces the global challenges of demographic change, resource constraints, increases in waste, rising energy costs, climate change, requirements of a low carbon economy and loss of biodiversity.
We are in a period of transition. We must move towards new ways of dealing with these important challenges, with new values and ideals, supported by new technology. We must build resilience in the local community to face up to these challenges.
New public expectations about the environment are obliging other local councils to adopt principles of sustainability in their areas of operation and areas where they can exert influence, in order to secure the maintenance of quality of life.
The accepted definition of Sustainable Development is: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. This Council, in partnership with the community it serves, recognizes its responsibilities towards the environment as a whole.
Hexham Town Council is committed to caring for the environment. Already in its approach to housing and other building projects, the Council has taken a sustainability approach. It has encouraged eco-efficient buildings. It has given support to Transition Tynedale, Hexham Community Partnership (on a hydro project) and other renewable energy and energy saving projects.
This policy provides a framework for the Council to take this approach forward and provide a basis for sustainable decision making. The policy will be linked to the Hexham Town Plan process and the Hexham Neighbourhood Plan with specific actions and specified timelines. The actions resulting from these plans must include considerations of and actions for sustainability.
2. Aim:
This policy sets out how Hexham Town Council will deal with some of the challenges it faces. It outlines how it will manage its own affairs and wider relationships with others. It shows how it will seek to support delivery of Sustainable Development in all its areas of activity or influence.
In addition to putting our own affairs on a more sustainable footing, in support of County and Central Government policies and objectives, the Council will continue to support the continued prosperity, health and wellbeing of the community it serves. It will ensure sound and defensible decisions are made to support local needs. It will aim to influence wider strategic planning so that sustainability concepts and sustainable development themes are at the heart of decision making on e.g. Planning, construction and physical development.
It will aim to provide a structure in Hexham where people can experience a sound and fair society, not just from a local community perspective. This will allow the town to play its part in support of wider national / global challenges and goals for the ultimate benefit of society overall.
3. Quality of life objectives:
The quality of the environment affects our day-to-day lives and is an essential ingredient of wellbeing. We need to maintain and enhance a quality environment for future generations. One of the key objectives is to ensure our greatest asset, heritage in the natural and built environment, is maintained. This comprises not just our buildings and open spaces, but also our cultural heritage in the form of festivals and other community events which support social cohesion.
Whilst looking after our past is important the main objective is to maintain and develop a quality environment and to create a dynamic place to live in a way which encourages enterprise and growth. This requires n e w initiatives so that Hexham Town Council is seen as forward thinking in its approach to sustainability.
We will encourage vibrant events and activities aligned to sustainability to aid the community and help to build in `resilience’ and cope with a period of `transition’.
4. Quality of life powers:
Public expectation with regard to the environment and sustainability has increased to the point where it is essential that local councils adopt the principles of sustainability in all areas of operation or where the council has influence to ensure `quality of life’ is maintained.
Hexham Town Council is already committed to caring for the environment and must therefore now adopt the wider principles of sustainability. The Council, in partnership with the community it serves, recognises its responsibilities with regard to the environment as a whole in balance with societal needs and economic constraints, which together comprise the three pillars of Sustainable Development.
In addition to public expectation and meeting the requirements of European or national legislation on substantive requirements, recent initiatives encouraging change towards sustainable communities are:
• The Localism Act – places more power with communities to decide local issues
• Changes to the Planning Act – attempt to simplify the process
• Neighbourhood plans – define local needs and aspirations
All councils now have a `Power of Well Being’ to enact their requirements. LGA 2000 S2 enables a council to use the Power of Well Being which is a power of first resort.
Once enacted and a resolution has been passed, this enables a council to do anything without any spending limit which it considers likely to achieve the promotion or improvement of: the economic, social or environmental (i.e. Sustainability) wellbeing of the area.
5. Implementation:
Sustainability principles will be applied across all Council activities to the maximum extent possible and we will encourage others to do the same. To achieve this we will:
• Actively promote new initiatives that provide real benefit to the community.
• Conduct community engagement and encourage participation.
• Facilitate workshops that support Transition and Resilience building.
• Consider smarter and more cost effective ways of using our assets and facilities.
• As other councils have done we will look at creating a “Sustainability Champion” within the council who can act as a source of advice and support using external resources as required.
• Create a Sustainable Development Working Group in support of the above
• Periodically monitor and review implementation progress.
Suggested members of the Sustainable Development Working Group include:
• Nominated councillor as Working Group chair.
Representatives of community organisations and businesses
• Co-opted local residents who have expertise relevant to specific projects
Other interested councillors
6. Key Principles:
In all activities the aim will be to:
• Pursue the social, health and economic needs of the local community while minimising environmental impacts.
• Ensure local needs are met through local resources whenever possible.
• Minimise the consumption of energy, water and other natural resources and ensure that those we use are used efficiently.
• Minimise the production of waste and reduce the impact of its disposal.
• Reduce or prevent pollution and minimise emissions of greenhouse gases wherever possible.
• Protect and enhance the biodiversity of the town.
7. In the Council’s direct operations we will:
• Ensure Sustainable Development is at the heart of our strategies, projects and decision making and is built into the operation of the Council, its committees and working groups.
• Limit risk to the environment, identify and enhance sustainability issues where possible.
• Ensure sustainability is factored into local development plans and planning policies ensuring enhanced standards with any new developments and projects.
• Ensure sustainable procurement is adopted to the extent possible with suppliers.
• Ensure all employees have awareness training to encourage sound working practices.
• Follow sustainability best practice and strive for continuous improvement.
8. In our wider community relations we will:
• Foster a shared sense of purpose and responsibility in the wider community.
• Work collaboratively with local groups and others we can influence.
• Promote Sustainable Development within the community and raise awareness, e.g. at local events.
• Encourage others to behave in a sustainable manner through example and best practice.
• Use influence with our stakeholders, public bodies, businesses and individuals to encourage adoption of Sustainable Development principles and best practice.

9. Performance reporting:
Sustainable Development matters will be considered r e g u l a r l y in council meetings and as this develops, become a standard agenda/ reporting item at full Council meetings.
The Sustainable Development Working Group can in time become a mechanism for the Council to review its performance in this area to help identify and develop new initiatives.
10. Formal issue and review:
This sustainability policy for Hexham Town Council was drafted initially by the Town Plan Built Environment and Transport Group. The Council undertakes to implement and adopt these requirements wherever possible (within funding constraints) and provide assistance where necessary in support of this common objective.