Local Plan

Details:

Reference Number: 5339
Request Date: 02/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 The percentage of affordable housing required for housing developments of 10 dwellings or more or that are greater than 0.5 hectares in area. If more than one level is set in planning policies – for example varying by location in the district or size of development – the maximum, minimum and district average percentages.

A.1 Northumberland County Council is in the process of preparing a new Local Plan, the revised Regulation 19 publication draft version of which was approved by full Council on 9 January 2019 ahead of the formal publication period commencing on 30 January 2019, and is now a material consideration in the assessment of planning applications. It has been informed by the latest updated Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA, June 2018) and Whole Plan Viability Assessment, and thus proposes variable affordable housing requirements according to the economic viability of delivering housing developments in different parts of the county (10%, 15%, 25%, 30%) in order to meet an overall countywide residual affordable housing need that equates to about 17% of the county's total housing requirement for the plan period 2016-2036. This approach will supersede the general 15% county-wide requirement that has up to now been sought based upon the previous 2015 SHMA, evidence that effectively superseded the affordable housing requirements in 'saved' policies of three former district development plan documents:
Alnwick District LDF Core Strategy (Oct.2007) - Policy S6 sought 35% (based on local needs between 2005-2010);
Tynedale District LDF Core Strategy (Oct. 2007) - Policy H8 sought between 30-50%;
Wansbeck District Local Plan (July 2007) - Policy H7 sought 30% (based on local needs between 2005-2009).


Q.2 The average percentage of affordable housing agreed on approval of planning applications for housing developments of 10 dwellings or more or that are greater than 0.5 hectares in the council’s area for each of 2016, 2017 and 2018.

A.2 Average levels of affordable housing delivered in Northumberland over the past three years have equated to the following proportions of total net additional housing completions on sites of 10 dwellings or 0.5ha or more:

2016 - 21%; 
2017 - 17%; 
2018 - 17%.



 


Details:

Reference Number: 5364
Request Date: 08/01/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

A note to clarify the terminology I have used:
· A Gypsy or Traveller ‘pitch’ is where one family or individual might live.
· A Gypsy or Traveller ‘site’ is where there are a number of pitches in one location.
· A Gypsy or Traveller ‘unauthorised encampment’ is when a family or individual has stopped on land that isn’t their own.

Q.1 How many Gypsy and Traveller unauthorised encampments have you cleared from the local authority in:
i) 2015
ii) 2016
iii) 2017
iv) 2018
(if possible please name them)
A.1 Number of unauthorised encampments by year

 

Year

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

Number of Locations used for unauthorised encampments

108

92

74

  70

Number of family groups/caravans

529

527

340

313

 

Q.2 In relation to the cleared encampments listed in question one, how many pitches were in each cleared encampment. (If you do not know, please state whether, to the best of your knowledge, there were any individuals or families living in the cleared encampments.)
A.2 The encampments ranged in size from 2 to 22 Caravans with the average size being 6 caravans.

Q.3 How many NEW authorised Gypsy and Traveller pitches were created by your local authority in:
i) 2015 - 1
ii) 2016 - 0
iii) 2017 - 0
iv) 2018 - 0
(if possible please name them)

Q.4 How many authorised Gypsy and Traveller pitches are there currently in your local authority?
A.4  39 NCC Permanent tenanted pitches, 40 Privately owned pitches

Q.5 What were the full evictions costs to your council for all cleared unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller encampments in:
i) 2015
ii) 2016
iii) 2017
iv) 2018

(These costs should include staff costs and resources, any contractor costs, court costs and legal fees, clear up costs as well as any other costs relating to evictions from unauthorised encampments.)
A.5 No data available - The cost of legal action and environmental clean up costs are not routinely recorded.

Q.6 How much money was spent in the creation of authorised Gypsy and Traveller pitches and sites in:
i) 2015 - 0
ii) 2016 - 0
iii) 2017 - 0
iv) 2018 - 0

Q.7 Are you considering or are there any plans in place to seek a court injunction against unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller encampments sites in your local authority? If you already have an injunction or already have an application in please state.
A.7 There are currently no plans for NCC to seek an injunction against any unauthorised Gypsy/ Roma /Traveller encampments.

Q.8 When was the last time you undertook a Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Need Assessment?
A.8 December 2018 (Update of the previous October 2015 Northumberland Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment).  The Assessment can be accessed via the following link:

https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/NorthumberlandCountyCouncil/media/Planning-and-Building/planning%20policy/Local%20Plan/GTAA-December-2018-Final.pdf 

Q.9 What was the need identified by your authority’s most recent Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Need Assessment for new pitches, and what period does this GTANA cover?
A.9 The December 2018 GTAA update covers the period of the emerging new Northumberland Local Plan up to 2036. It identified no need for permanent residential pitches up to 2023, but a need for 8 new permanent pitches between 2023-2036 (7 in the South East of the County and 1 in the North). It also supported the current trialling of a 'negotiated stopping places' model for addressing the needs for transit pitches and emergency stopping places (but if not found to tackle the unauthorised encampments issue then a need to find locations for between 4-8 transit pitches in the medium term in the South East of the county). It also recognised the possible future need for supporting modest proposals to expand travelling showpeople yard facilities and/or accommodate additional plots.



Details:

Reference Number: 5540
Request Date: 05/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 Please would you inform me if any 5G wireless network technology (RF-EMF) antennae are installed now or planned for the future in Northumberland?

A.1 Northumberland County Council have no current plans to install 5G wireless technology. We are aware of plans by 5G Rural Integrated Testbed (5GRIT) to build a 5G testbed which will develop and test innovative solutions for rural areas, supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), however the County Council currently has no direct involvement with this project and is unaware of the equipment that will be deployed. Commercial operators may have plans to install 5G wireless technology, however no information has been shared with the County Council at this time.

Q.2 If any such 5G wireless network technology implementation is planned, now or in the future, is the Northumberland County Council aware of the serious concerns from scientists across the globe regarding the harmful effects of pulsed millimeter wavelength radiation on humans, wildlife, plants and the environment? (https://www.5gspaceappeal.org/the-appeal/)

A.2 Northumberland County Council is aware of the concerns raised, however the County Council will operate within the regulatory framework when dealing with any planning applications or other matters relating to wireless network infrastructure deployment.

Q.3 Is the Northumberland County Council able to control any current or future installation of 5G wireless network technology antennae?

The Implementation of 5G wireless network technology will create a smog of RF-EMF radiation which would greatly extend the mandatory irradiation of the public without adequate prior study of the potential health impact and assurance of safety. It would irradiate everyone, including the most vulnerable to harm from radiofrequency radiation: pregnant women, unborn children, young children, teenagers, men of reproductive age, the elderly, the disabled, and the chronically ill.

A.3 Northumberland County Council will operate within the regulatory frameworks when responding to any planning applications or other matters relating to wireless network infrastructure deployment.

Q.4 Is the council aware of the following insurance exclusion, which would also apply to WIFI in council offices, whether 5G is installed or not? 

(5G is classed as “non-ionising radiation)

A.4 There is no exclusion in respect of this risk



Details:

Reference Number: 5619
Request Date: 18/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

On Friday 8th February the Secretary of State for Transport visited Northumberland to see proposals for the reopening of passenger services on the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne line. 

Q.1       A full list of invitees

A.1       Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP

John Redhead  

Representative - Nexus

Representative - Nexus

Representative - Transport for the North

Representative - Transport for the North

Representative - Network Rail

Representative - Network Rail

Representative - Northern

Representative - SENRUG

Paul Johnston - NCC

Cllr Peter Jackson - NCC

Cllr Richard Wearmouth - NCC

Cllr Veronica Jones - NCC

Cllr Glen Sanderson - NCC

Cllr Wayne Daley - NCC

Cllr Cath Homer - NCC

Cllr Nick Oliver - NCC

Cllr William Crosby - NCC

Cllr Malcolm Robinson - NCC

Cllr Russell Wallace - NCC

Andrew Ward - NCC

Stuart McNaughton - NCC

Representative - AECOM (Consultant Team)

Representative - AECOM (Consultant Team)

Representative - Mosaic Consultants (Consultant Team)

 

Q.2      A full list of attendees 

A.2      Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP

John Redhead  

Representative - Nexus

Representative - Transport for the North

Representative - Transport for the North

Representative - Network Rail

Representative - Network Rail

Representative - Northern

Representative - SENRUG

Paul Johnston - NCC

Cllr Peter Jackson - NCC

Cllr Richard Wearmouth - NCC

Cllr Glen Sanderson - NCC

Cllr Wayne Daley - NCC

Cllr Cath Homer - NCC

Cllr Nick Oliver - NCC

Cllr William Crosby - NCC

Cllr Malcolm Robinson - NCC

Cllr Russell Wallace - NCC

Andrew Ward - NCC

Stuart McNaughton - NCC

Representative - AECOM (Consultant Team)

Representative - Mosaic Consultants (Consultant Team)

 

Q.3      The total cost of chartering a train for the visit

A.3       The cost of chartering the train was covered by Northern as part of their franchise commitment to support development of the project.

 

Q.4       The total cost of photography for the day 

A.4       The total cost of photography for the day was £295 and this cost has been met by Northumberland County Council. 
 

Q.5       The total cost of any refreshments provided

A.5        Refreshments were provided by Northern Rail at no cost to Northumberland County Council.



Details:

Reference Number: 5624
Request Date: 18/02/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1 In an interview with the News Post Leader on Friday 8th February, the Leader of the Council discussed the financing of the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne line. In this he said the total cost for reopening would be £190 Million but that he believed it could be split into phases and that Phase 1 would cost £90 Million and that this was ‘perfectly achievable’.  Under the terms of the freedom of information act please provide the following; All papers relating to development phases of the ABT line.  All correspondence from Councillor Peter Jackson mentioning the phrases ‘Northumberland Line’ or Ashington, Blyth & Tyne’

A.1  Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you have requested, please see the attached issued via Cryptshare due to the size of the attachments.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 5767
Request Date: 13/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1     Please provide a copy of the Council’s Enforcement Policy.

A.1.   See link https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/NorthumberlandCountyCouncil/media/About-the-Council/Corporate-Enforcement-Policy-3-November-2015.pdf

Q.2     Please provide a copy of the Trading Standards Service Plan.

A.2.   Copy attached

Q.3    Please provide a copy of the Food Law Service Plan. 

A.3.   See link   http://committeedocs.northumberland.gov.uk/MeetingDocs/38640_M9117.pdf

Q.4     How many Primary Authority Partnerships do the Trading Standards Department have? 

A.4.    1

Q.5     How many Primary Authority Partnerships do the Trading Standards Department provide food standards cover?

A.5.    0

Q.6    Other than Primary Authority Partnerships, do the Trading Standards Department provide paid for food standards business advice (i.e. pay-as-you-go)?

A.6.    No

Q.7    If the Trading Standards Department provide paid for business advice (i.e. pay-as-you-go), what year did the Service start providing this option?

A.7.    See above

Q.8    If the Trading Standards Department are not currently providing paid for business advice (i.e. pay-as-you-go), is this a potential avenue in the future?

A.8.    Yes

Q.9    Do the Trading Standards Department conduct joint working with Environmental Health on food standards issues?

A.9.     Yes
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6057
Request Date: 13/05/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   A copy of the Councils latest legal framework or strategy setting out how the Council's legal function/department is established/works/ including when external legal firms are utilised;
 
A.1    The Council’s website at https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/About/Staff.aspx#legalservices contains details of how the Council’s legal function works although the document requires updating to reflect recent changes.

Q.2   A copy of the latest business plan for the Council's legal department;

A.2  The department does not have a current business plan but does hold a copy of the business plan from 2013/4 which is now out of date, if this is thought relevant to the requestor a request for a copy would be considered.

Q.3   A copy of the Council's procedure rules/protocol for use of the Council's legal department by other departments in the Council and when external legal representation (law firms and barristers) may be used;

A.3   No documentation is held as to the use of the Council’s legal department by other departments within the Council. The attached PDF copy Google form is an example of when external representation may be used.

Q.4   Details of where in the Council's Constitution information on the Council's legal department and how it is used is located;

A.4   While there is no specific reference in the Constitution to the Council’s legal department and how it is used, Section 6 of Part 4 of the Constitution adopted on 1st November 2017 details the general delegation to the Legal Services Manager.

Q.5   Details of how much was spent on external legal representation (only law firms and not barristers) between March 2017 and March 2018.

A.5  £158k

Q.6   A copy of the last Invitation to Tender document when external legal representation was tendered for.

A.6   There is currently a live ITT which is available through the NEPO Portal upon which Newcastle City Council are taking the lead on behalf of various North East authorities in including Northumberland. If you wish to take part you can log into the portal and submit a response.

Attached is a zip file of the documentation that Newcastle City Council has confirmed are the documents that were published.

Q.7   If documents do not exist explaining how the legal function is used and when external law firms are instructed please provided details on the following:

Q.7a  Are all matters involving leases, conveyances, contracts, public prosecutions, planning enforcement dealt with by the Council's legal department or does it depend on the value of the matter (or any other criteria) as to whether an officer in a separate department (i.e. environmental services) would deal with the matter themselves?

Q.7b  When are external legal firms instructed?  What criteria applies?

A.7a   No documentation exists in this regard but client departments deal with this on a case by case basis.

A.7b   Criteria for instructing external firms would include complexity and capacity of the department at that particular time.
 


Details:

Reference Number: 6602
Request Date: 02/09/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1     I would like to receive the Winter maintenance plan 2019- 20, for your district and responsibility to include the objectives set out below this email.

“The objective is to provide a winter maintenance service which, as far as is reasonably practicable, will permit the safe movement of traffic along the priority network, whilst minimising delays and accidents attributable to the adverse weather conditions. Good practice is also important to minimise both the environmental impact of salt used and budget implications”.

Highway authorities are under a statutory duty - by virtue of the Highways Act 1980, to maintain the highways.
Section 41: "The authority who are for the time being the highway authority for a highway maintained at the public expense are under a duty, … to maintain the highway."
Section 41 (1A): “In particular, a highway authority are under a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow or ice.”
Section 130: "It is the duty of the highway authority to assert and protect the rights of the public to the use and enjoyment of any highway for which they are the highway authority …"
Section 150: "If an obstruction arises in a highway from accumulations of snow … the highway authority shall remove the obstruction …" Recent legal judgement has concluded that there is no duty upon authorities to remove ice from highways under the general responsibility to “maintain the highway”
in Section 41. It is important to note that this judgement does not remove liability in all circumstances

Call out criteria

Priority 1 routes only are to be treated, when heavy snow conditions exist necessitating snow ploughing.
Priority 1 and 2 routes are to be treated, when forecasts indicate that formation of ice or snow is likely.

Response and treatment times

Priority 1 routes, rate of spread 20-40 gm/sqm Response time - 1 hour, treatment time - 1½ hours, total - 2½ hours
Priority 1 and 2 routes, rate of spread 10-20 gm/sqm Response time - 1 hour, treatment time - 2½ hours, total - 3 ½hours
Priority 1 and 2 routes, rate of spread 30-40 gm/sqm. Response time - 1 hour, treatment time - 5 hours, total - 6 hours.

Stocking levels

Amounts currently stock and when levels are critical.

Fleet

Vehicles types in service and identity.

A.1     The Winter Policy (Plan) for 2019/2020 is currently under review and will be available on the councils website ahead of the winter season starting on the 28th October 2019.

All call out criteria for all roads and footpaths is listed within the policy.

All vehicles have treatment times under 3hrs this is again stated in the Winter Services Policy (Plan) currently being reviewed. 3 hrs is the completed time stated in policy. We do not have defined treatment times for what we class as a secondary routes. these will be completed after primary routes are completed to satisfaction. This can be found on the Northumberland County Council website: https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Highways/Winter.aspx#winterservices

Stocking levels of salt. The authority plans to have a minimum 36,500 tonnes across (with the option of a mid season refill) 11 operational depots throughout the county.

NCC have a fleet of 28 front line gritters. These are all Mercedes/Econ and are a mixture of 6 &  9 cum. We have an additional 6 spare gritters at strategic locations across the County these are also Mercedes/Econ