LOWICK.LIVE.LETTER

KYLOE VIEW DEVELOPMENT- COUNCIL’S DECISION IS “YES”

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The Area Committee met on 19th April and decided in favour of the development at the East End of the Village. In due course, we will publish the exact wording of the decision, and will explore the consequences for our community’s future growth.
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It is our intention to do what we can to ensure that the development is efficiently and effectively delivered, to the advantage of our village, its life and its people.
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In the meantime, the Parish Council has written to Gordon Castle, the Chair of the Committee, expressing its concerns about key issues, and about the meeting itself.
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The permission includes, we believe, as a condition, the granting of a 25 year lease to Lowick Football Club, and the removal of the restriction which forbids building a permanent structure as a club facility.
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Part of Our Letter
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It was clear to the PC that the decision would go this way, as the Planning Officer could see no objection to the scheme, as the laws and procedures of planning currently stand. 
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  • It has come as a revelation to my fellow councillors that there is no limit to the size of a development, and that the number of houses proposed in Area and County Plans is taken as a minimum, and not a maximum.
  • We are also concerned that no consideration can be given to the issue of affordable rented accommodation, when clearly small rural communities are in great need of living space for young people who are just starting out.
  • We still are concerned that plots retailing at £70K, which then require a building to be erected at the expense of the purchaser, can be described as within the reach of young families
We sent our objections to the Planning Department, and these were included amongst the 75 documents on the website.  We indicated a willingness to attend a Planning Committee meeting, but the meeting was held during the working day and no one was able to attend. We have asked that the Council’s continued objections to the scheme be minuted, in spite of remarks made in the meeting which suggested it had changed its position.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN TAKES SHAPE

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The Lowick Neighbourhood Plan is still underway, despite a recent lull. Preparations are underway for a public consultation on planning policies, the boundary of the settlement inside which building may take place, and the style of different parts of the village , and how this might affect building. Other issues are under consideration – such as The Natural Environment, Community Facilities and Development, and A Register for Buildings and Features that are of special quality or interest.

 

During May, we will be holding an exhibition to get your opinion about the features that we have been discussing, above. The proposals for the size and future development of the village will be on view, and these will reflect any planning decisions that the County Council makes about recent proposals.

We will also be including first drafts of the policies which will underpin these plans, and these will be circulated online beforehand. If you wish to recive advance copies, please email us via the contacts page of this website.

NAME THAT ROAD

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The Parish Council has been asked its views on a suitable name for the new strret which will accompny the 8 houses about to be developed off South Road. The Developer proposes “Village Meadow”, but most people we have spoken to feel that this is not approrpiate.

 

“Meadow” is not a Northumbrian term used much in our landscape, and “Village” is none too specific. The whole thing, it has been said, makes it sound like a South Country Housing Estate Agent’s advertisment.

Most roads in the village have associations with local people or locations – so we have had some interesting ideas already along these lines. If you have a suggestion drop us an email by Thursday night, when the Council meets.

Local residents will be interested to know that questions with the Planning Department have been raised about the effect on the Stream and likely flooding of the recent earth movement that has been carried out over the site in the map above, and the whole field, for which there is no planning permission.

 

 

BERWICK ACADEMY – STILL OUR SCHOOL

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EDITORIAL

You will be aware that a recent Osted inspection has placed our local high school in special measures.

The angry and unprecedented headline in the Berwick Advertiser demonstrates the unhelpful kneejerk reaction that characterises so much of our media, whenever it gets a chance to sensationalise.

In spite of the good work done by so many members of staff, the supportive role of the governors – none of whom are paid for their voluntary work, and the many, many children who attend regularly, and work hard to succeed, the only word the Advertiser knows to label all these and their efforts is “Inadequate”.

It is not our place to suggest that Ofsted – and all the other little quangos staffed by non-practicing officials and appratchiks – is a destructive and unsupportive organisation, free to say what it likes, and with no responsibility for the consequences. Except that is what it is.

That a local paper, and voice in the community, seeks to undermine the work a school does with its students, is extremely distressing. How are students meant to feel when they see their school and its teachers treated like this? Is it intended to add to their self-confidence and desire to succeed? Is it going to add to the respect they must feel towards those who help them learn? I don’t think so.

Back to my choice of headline – it’s still our school, and the only one most secondary students are able to use. They don’t have the choice of going elsewhere – just as a patient at a “failing” NHS hospital probably won’t be able to find an alternative if they fall suddenly ill.

Issues always need addressing, and there are many ways that they should tackled. But let us hope that we as local residents can get behind our school as it seeks to go forward, and that our Local Paper will report each and every victory on the path to success.

 

DATA PROTECTION CHANGES

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The law related to personal data will be changing in May. Data Protection Regulations (the GDPR) will come into force
on 18 th May 2018. After then all data held by organisations, such as the Parish Council which publishes Lowick Live, will have to be personally approved by the subject of each data record.

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