BERWICK-upon-TWEED CIVIC SOCIETY

MONITORING

PLANNING APPLICATIONS

 

 

In the furtherance of the objects of the Civic Society's constitution the Society will base its judgements of planning applications on the following guidelines:

 

1. Judgements will be primarily aesthetic and not social or political.

 

2. The Society has a duty of care for the listed buildings in its area of responsibility. It will therefore:

 

a) Oppose any demolition or major alteration to a listed building

b) Support and actively promote the restoration of any listed building which has fallen or is falling into disrepair.

c) Ensure that any alteration to a listed building is in keeping with the original.

d) Ensure that any feature added to a listed building, which is not defined as original, is readily identifiable as an addition.

e) Oppose any development which affects the setting of a listed building, to its

detriment. For further details on 'setting' consult PPG15, section 2.17

 

3. The Society has a duty of care for the Conservation Areas within its area of

responsibility. It will therefore:

 

a) Oppose any development within the Conservation Areas, which by virtue of its scale, height or massiveness is not in keeping with other buildings in the area.

b) Oppose the demolition of buildings which form part of the setting of listed building in the vicinity.

c) Oppose any development which is not of a suitable quality for its location. Quality may refer to architectural style or the materials used for construction.

d) Oppose any development which will have a marked environmental impact on the

Conservation Areas. This may cover aspects such as the removal of green spaces and the marked increase in the number of vehicles without adequate parking.

e) Encourage initiatives to maintain and enhance the town's natural environment and its unique character.

 

4. The Society will oppose any development which will detract from the natural beauty of the coastline and the Tweed Estuary since these together with the Town's special history are considered as Berwick's most important assets.

 

The Civic Society is represented on CAAG and thus has a voice in the protection of the town’s 3 Conservation Areas

 

To find a planning application on line visihttp://www.northumberland.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=3420

 

AND THE BEST OF LUCK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Current planning applications include the following

 

Click on the photograph to view the application, for copyright reasons we are unable to reproduce plans here. 

Plans are best viewed in PDF format if available

 

 

Castle Hills Farm. Proposed agricultural barn.

 

 

The previous application was refused planning permission

A new application has been submitted and can be viewed on line. This takes into account some of the societies objections regarding cladding materials, but is even longer than the previous submission. The roof is slightly lower than the rejected submission but steeper and higher than the previously approved scheme.

 

Previous concerns about the scale and the effect on the prospect of the Royal Borders Bridge remain.

 

 

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The Societies biggest concern is the removal of the planning services currently based in Berwick to Alnwick. Our views were expressed in a letter published in the Berwick Advertiser.

 

To the Editor of the Berwick Advertiser

 

Dear Sir

 

I read with concern your article on page 8 of this week’s paper relating to the imminent departure of all the Planners from Berwick’s Planning Department. The article raises a number of queries:

We are told that the Council has reassured residents in the Berwick area. How and when was this done?

 

Councillor Tom Brechany states that the move will improve the overall performance of the team. I presume he is referring to a reduction in the target time for determining applications rather than the ease with which Berwick residents can view them.

 

Karen Ledger writes that members of the public and developers will be able to meet with officers, but this will be by appointment. This is similar to the present system. However she goes on to say that planning files may be viewed by appointment. This is the real difference. No longer will we be able to walk into the Planning Office, have a conversation with a helpful person behind the counter and look at a planning file. Incidentally are all the files to be stored in Alnwick? If so there will have to be an elaborate courier system ferrying files to and from Berwick.

 

We are consoled that changes to the computer system will enable us to view applications in the comfort of our own homes. Forgetting all the problems associated with computer systems and the difficulty of looking at complicated plans on line, the phrase in the newspaper report, ”historical data is now being transferred” should raise a warning note. In the words of the County Council’s own website,“ Please note applications submitted to Berwick prior to November 2010 will not be displayed. Should you require this information please contact the Berwick Planning Office”. Similarly it would appear that current amendments to earlier plans cannot be viewed.

 

No details are given of the location of other Council officials such as the Enforcement Officer and Conservation Officer. Are they also to be permanently in Alnwick? What about part time desk staff? Is this another cost cutting exercise?

 

 Finally we can’t help but feel that once again Berwick is being marginalised. Planning meetings already involve a long trip to Alnwick even when the agenda primarily concerns Berwick. With such a large county, it is important that the administration is sensitive to the needs of its periphery as well as its centre. At present the unitary authority does not appear to be serving the needs of Berwick.

 

Judith Nicholson Hon Secretary Berwick Civic Society

 

53—55 Marygate   - Alterations 

Good to see the upper floors will be in use as flats                  

 

Pier Road Maltings— Alterations to approved plans

 

Spot the difference, but hard when the original plans are no longer available

Old Coal Yard Site Tweedmouth 

71 Houses are proposed

 

The site will be visible from across the river and affect views of Goody Patchy

85 Castlegate—Alterations