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AGM Annual summary of work

County Committee Annual report for AGM 2015

The County Committee covers issues arising within the county of Northumberland. It meets some five times a year in Morpeth. NEPG (concerned with wind energy) have representation on county committee.

The committee is keen to recruit extra members

The two main issues the committee has been concerned with this year are the Northumberland development plan and the question of speed limits within urban areas:

On the Northumberland development plan (which has been in gestation for several years), the committee has made detailed responses during the year to the latest report, published in February. These covered most aspects of the plan, particularly the environmental aspects. The main concern has been the population level which the County proposes to plan for, which the committee believes to be unrealistically high and likely to promote sporadic development.

On speed limits, the committee is continuing to investigate and promote the benefits of a general reduction in vehicle speeds within the towns and villages of Northumberland to 20 mph. We had a meeting with officers of the County on this question. The County is at present revising its policy on 20mph limits, in the light of which we expect to formulate and promote a public statement on this issue.

Other issues the committee has covered include: • Proposals for retirement flats in Gilesgate, Hexham which we opposed; • Proposals for open-cast coal mining at Whittonstall (proposal subsequently withdrawn); • Consideration of open cast coal mining proposals (including Druridge Bay) • Proposals for a national park visitor centre near Haydon Bridge (which we supported); • The possibility of fracking and ‘gasification’ taking place in Northumberland