02 August 2023Notice of appointment of date for the exercise of public rights Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2023
02 August 2023Flood Wardens Needed
24 July 2023Hareshaw Linn Open!
09 July 2023Parish Council Vacancies
09 July 2023Bellingham Indoor Market Now Quarterly
Bellingham Indoor Market Update
Due to ongoing difficult trading conditions we have made the decision to move our market from a monthly to a quarterly event.
Hopefully this will encourage more shoppers to turn out to support our local traders.
The current plan is to run March, June and September on the 3rd Saturday as usual, with the Town Hall running its Christmas fair in December.
Thank you for your ongoing support with the market.
11 September 2022Accession Proclamation
29 July 2022You can now book your WeFibre Installation!
You can now book your WeFibre Installation!
Anyone who has pre-ordered their new Gigabit Full Fibre Broadband service can now book their installation!
If you have already pre-ordered you will have received an email with a link to the booking site (Check your Junk folder in case it's gone in there). Once here, press the Book Now button, select WeFibre - North East from the list, choose your installation day and timeslot and complete your details.
WeFibre's teams are currently pre-connecting customers homes and businesses ready for service but the actual "go-live" date of your new connection won't be for another few weeks. The teams are keen to get as many properties in cabled streets ready to go on the big switch-on day.
You will not be billed until the service is activated.
We'll post the date of big activation day here when it's announced!
If you haven't claimed your Government voucher or pre booked it's not too late! Please see the post below for details on what to do.
If you have any queries with the booking process please contact WeFibre directly at email@example.com or call 0330 229 0222.
22 July 2022WeFibre - All go in Bellingham from 1st August!
It's all go from 1st August!
We're happy to be able to announce that the first homes and businesses will be connected to our new Gigabit service from Monday 1st August!
If you have already pre-ordered your new service WeFibre will reach out to you from next week to get your installation booked in.
If you haven't pre-ordered yet go to wefibre.com and enter your postcode. If you have claimed your Government grant you will see Gig Home Earlybird (with Voucher Funding) and setup will be Free. If you don't see voucher funding and your installation is showing as £49 it's not too late to claim your voucher. Head over to wefibre.com/grants and complete the form and WeFibre will be in touch.
We've worked hard to bring Bellingham one of the fastest broadband networks in the UK at an incredible price.
It's now time to get connected and enjoy it!
Check out our dedicated Gigabit Broadband page for more information on the new service.
22 July 2022New Bike Racks for Bellingham
We've had a number of requests over the past few months asking for cycle racks in the village centre so they have somewhere so securely put their bikes when visiting our shops.
At the moment bikes are propped against shop fronts which can block the pavement for pedestrians and against trees and the bus stop sign which can block off parking spaces.
We enquired with NCC to see where some could be put and they have arrived today and supplied and installed some for us!
The new racks are located behind the benches on King Street and beside the bins and post box outside of the newsagents.
The racks by the newsagents have the additional benefit of keeping the corner clear so it's easier for drivers turning left from Woodburn Road to see safely.
No parking spaces have been removed with the installation of the new racks.
20 July 2022Summer Water Safety
Rivers and burns are a natural place to head for when the weather is hot over the summer months.
Make sure you take care and follow the advice below -
It's colder than it looks
Water at open and inland sites is ofter much colder than it looks, cold water can affect your ability to swim and self-rescue.
Don't go to far
Always swim parallel to the river bank, that way you're never too far away from it.
It's stronger than it looks
Currents in the water can be very strong. If you find yourself caught in a current - don't swim against it - you'll tire yourself out. Stay calm, swim with the current and call for help.
The water level in the North Tyne can rise quickly if water is released from Kielder Reservoir.
Know where the lifesaving equipment is
If you swim in the North Tyne next to the Jubilee Field there is a Lifebuoy on the river bank at the bottom of the field.
Bring a friend
Always bring a friend when you go swimming so if anything goes wrong, you've got someone there to help.
Click below for more information from Lee Heard, Charity Director at the Royal Live Saving Society UK.
04 July 2022Another HUGE Win for Bellingham Cafe!!
Huge congratulations to Bellingham’s own Fountain Cottage Cafe and B&B - Winners of the best cafe in Northumberland / Tyne & Wear for the second year running!!
20 June 2022NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN (EXEMPT AUTHORITY) ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2022
06 June 2022Thank You!
We wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to make Sunday's event such a big success!
Thanks to Trevor Suckling for giving us the tent for the day, Margret Wilson & the Twisty Roads Society for supplying the medals for the kids sports and Father Jim at St Oswald's for allowing us use of the church car park. Also Jason Arnup Music who was on top form after a very busy weekend and couldn't wait to get started yesterday afternoon!
A special shout out has to go to Amy Riley for running the kids sports and to Brenda Huddleston for pulling the whole thing together as well as arranging all of the bunting around the village! Amazing Job - you did the Parish proud!!
Finally, thank you to you - our community, for coming along and celebrating the Platinum Jubilee with us. It really is great to see everyone coming together and having some fun.
26 May 2022Bellingham In Bloom for the Jubilee
The wonderful team from Bellingham in Bloom have been out in force again refreshing the planters all through the village.
The bulbs have been replaced with new summer bedding in red white and blue for the Queen's Jubilee.
We have also started hanging bunting through the centre of the village so we're ready for the long Jubilee weekend!
17 May 2022May Market Cancelled
Due to unforseen circimstances we are unable to run our monthly market in May.
We will be back on the 18th June bigger and better tban ever.
Sorry for any disappointment caused.
10 May 2022Bellingham Borderlands Place Programme - Your chance to have your say!
Through the Borderlands Place Programme, Northumberland County Council intend to target investment in places that will help boost economic activity across the region. Recognising the importance of our smaller rural market and coastal towns to the local economy.
Each town, including Bellingham, will be developing an investment plan to secure up to £3m of Borderlands Place Programme funding.
A series of Place Plans will be developed for both Bellingham and Northumberland's other priority towns. Towns will only enter the Place Programme should their Place Plan contain projects eligible for Borderlands investment.
Why your views matter
To develop a Town Investment Plan for Bellingham, it is vital for us to learn more about the town from your perspective. We have launched a new survey and if you live, work, study, visit, or run a business in the town we encourage you to use this to have your say on developing plans for Bellingham.
We are asking you to share your feelings on the best and worst aspects of the town and the things that you would like to see change.
Please click the link below and let us know your thoughts.
The survey is open from the 9th May 2022 and closes at midnight on the 23rd May 2022.
04 May 2022Memorial Bench at Fountain Terrace
We have dedicated the bench seat between Fountain Terrace and Fountain Cottage to the memory of Graham Batey who, amongst his many contributions to the area, was a former Chairman of Bellingham Parish Council.
29 April 2022Jubilee Weekend - Are you a business planning an event?
Platinum Jubilee Weekend in Bellingham
Are you a business planning an event over the Jubilee weekend?
The Parish Council has plans in place to decorate the village and run celebration events over the weekend. If you are a business planning an event please let us know and we will compile and promote a full what's on itinerary for the weekend so everyone can get involved.
Please let us know by emailling details of what you have planned to firstname.lastname@example.org
We would also encourage residents and businesses to decorate your premises with bunting, flags etc to really make the village pop!
28 April 2022Annual Parish Meeting 2022 - We need your feedback
15 April 2022What Three Words
What Three Words Addresses
These are What Three Words (w3w) locations.
Street addresses aren’t accurate enough to specify precise locations, such as building entrances, and don’t exist for parks and many rural areas.
This makes it hard to find places and prevents people from describing exactly where help is needed in an emergency.
w3w have divided the world into 3 metre squares and gave each square a unique combination of three words. It’s the easiest way to find and share exact location.
You can use w3w to help delivery drivers who might not be able to find your house on streets with no street signs.
You can use the w3w app to find a precise location from a w3w address that you have been given.
Visit www.what3words.com or download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store and find and share your what three words address.
12 April 2022Car Charger Back in Service
The right hand car charger (Reno-Dion) situated behind the Town Hall has been repaired and is now back in service.
22 March 2022Would You Like to Rent an Allotment?
Do you have green fingers? Would you like to manage your own allotment?
We have a couple of allotments available to rent in Bellingham.
If you are interested in taking one on please drop us a message at email@example.com.
Rental is £25 per year for a full allotment or £12.50 per year for a half plot.
15 March 2022NCC Car Charger Installation
We have had a number of queries into the parish regarding the new car chargers currently being installed in the village between the old Barclays Bank and the Public Toilets.
This is not a Parish Council Project - They are an infrastructure investment by Northumberland County Council which aims to help residents without their own off-street parking transition to EV's in the coming years when the Government bans the sale of combustion cars.
As NCC are installing the units on their own land there has not been any formal planning required. The PC have not been involved in any way.
If you have questions on the installation there is a contact number on the sign in the barriered off area (below).
10 March 2022Notice of Parking Suspension
Parking Suspension - Bays from Former Barclays Bank to Public Conveniences
Northumberland County Council is temporarily suspending parking in the bays from the former Barclays Bank to the Public Conveniences from Sunday 13th March to allow them to install their new Electric Car Chargers.
03 March 2022Pioneer Utilities / WeFibre Letter - 2nd March 2022
Pioneer Utilities / WeFibre Letter
You may have received a letter from Pioneer Utilities today stating they are planning to dig up your road.
The teams from Pioneer Utilities and Telcom Infrastructure have been in the village for the past month and, in most cases, are using existing Openreach Ducts and Poles.
In SOME instances they may need to dig where existing ducts are either unavailable or full, or install new telephone poles where existing are full or needing replacing, but this will be the exception not the norm.
We have worked hard to ge the fastest broadband service available to the people of the Parish and it's great to see the work being completed.
If you have not expressed interest for Ultrafast Gigabit broadband for only £20 per month you can so so at wefibre.com/grants
More information on the new service can be found on our dedicated page HERE.
01 March 2022Town Hall Support During Power Cuts
As discussed in February’s PC meeting we have formalised our agreement with the Town Hall committee to use the community room for tea, coffee and flask filling during major power outages in the area.
Please share the details with your friends and neighbours so everyone is aware and can benefit.
21 February 2022Storm Brings Down Tree in Cemetery
We are aware of a tree that has come down in The Croft Cemetery following last nights high winds.
We are currently working to have it removed asap and assess any damage to the surrounding area.
04 February 2022New Toys for the Bellingham Toddler & Baby Group
Following a successful grant application the Parish Council has purchased a selection of new toys for the Bellingham Toddler & Baby Group which is held in the Rede Hall.
Cllr. Amy Riley who looks after Children's Services and Youth Engagement for the Parish Council handed over the goodies to Natalie Tuck and Abbie Armstrong who run the group.
The kids were eager to get into the new toys!
13 January 2022Bringing the Water Fountain back to Fountain View!
We've brought the fountain back to Fountain View with the installation of a new water bottle filling station on the side of the public conveniences.
This new installation is part of Bellingham Parish Council's continuing environmental push and we hope people will use the new fountain to fill their refillable water bottles instead of single use plastic bottles.
Click HERE for more details.
22 November 2021Colder Weather and Grit Bins
As the weather takes a colder turn and paths become slippy don't forget there are 17 Grit Bins across the village for use by residents.
These are supplied and kept filled by Northumberland County Council.
A list of bin locations and links to request refills or additional bins can be found on our website HERE.
18 November 2021Change of Car Charger Tariff Structure - 1st December 2021
Since launch the cost for using our EV Chargers has been set at 20p/kWh.
We have noticed a lot of users plugging in far longer than their vehicle takes to charge which prevents
others from using the service. We have asked that users move their vehicles once charged.
In order to try to stop this happening we will be changing from a per kWh fee to a time based model.
From December 1st the cost for using these chargers will be £1.50 per hour* plugged in
Full details of our chargers can be found HERE
*The current hourly cost of these 7.2kW chargers is 7.2kW x 20p = £1.44/hour
Under the new structure you will continue to be charged until your vehicle is unplugged
You will be charged on a per minute basis
07 November 2021Bellingham Bonfire and Fireworks 2021
Thanks to Kate Jameson for organising the bonfire and an amazing fireworks display for Bellingham!
10 October 2021Jubilee Field Noticeboard Refreshed
We've tidied up the noticeboard in the Jubilee Field car park by replacing the perished plastic backing with a new magnetic plywood panel. We've also added a new Bellingham Directory to guide visitors to our fantastic selection of shops, cafes and pubs.
Watch out for another board due to be installed in the Hareshaw Linn car park soon!
04 October 2021Blessing of the new St. Cuthbert's Steps
Sunday October 3rd saw a Celebration and Dedication of the new steps at St. Cuthbert's Church by the Right Rev Mark Wroe, Bishop of Berwick.
The steps link the churchyard to Cuddy's Well and form part of the St. Cuthbert's Three Church Trail which links Elsdon, Corsenside and Bellingham.
The Parish Council has provided signage as part of it's "Historic Bellingham" campaign including directional signage as well as full information boards on the church and well.
There was a great turnout for the service at St. Cuthbert's which, in his own words, was the first time the bishop had blessed some steps!
24 September 2021Our Market Makes the News!
Our monthly market made the news this week!
Our September market was visited by a reviewer from marketstallfacts.com. You can read her review HERE.
We were also featured in the Hexham Courant on the 23rd September.
A larger version of the article can be downloaded HERE.
20 September 2021Bellingham Parish Council's Response to the Planning Application for the Former Auction Mart Site
Below is the Parish Council's response to the planning application for the former auction mart site.
This response was uploaded to the NCC planning portal on the 20th September.
Residents are encouraged to make their own thoughts known by uploading comments to the site.
The Parish Council is a single consultee and the more responses received, whether Support, Neutral or Object, the more the planners at NCC are able to make an informed decision taking into account the thoughts of as many local residents as possible.
This is your chance to influence what happens with the development. Don't waste the opportunity to make your thoughts known.
The address of the planning site is - https://publicaccess.northumberland.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple
Once there, you can search using the reference number 21/03415/FUL or just the keyword mart.
The deadline for comments is Wednesday 29th September.
Bellingham Parish Council (PC) has carefully reviewed the detail of the planning application submitted by Maple Oak properties. Our review of the planning documentation and discussions with local residents have raised a number of issues that need to be taken into consideration before planning should be approved for the site.
Key areas of concern
The PC is aware that there is a need for social housing within Bellingham, with the proposals for the development in the Mart Field following a housing needs survey undertaken several years ago. However, the development does not solve the key housing issues within the village and its surrounding area in its current form.
There has been no evidence provided within the planning proposals regarding the number of social properties needed by this area. While the PC agrees that some social housing is needed, the creation of the single largest estate in the village which solely consists of social housing seems likely to dwarf the needs of the local area. The PC would like to see further research into the number of properties needed by local residents and residents of the North Tyne area for social housing before these proposals are approved. A greater mix of affordable properties to buy within the housing stock on the site would be better for the area and would be more in line with NCC’s own guidance which these proposals breach (as admitted in the planning and affordable housing document). Other estates run by Karbon Homes in the village have a number of families who have been brought in from Ashington, Blyth and other distant areas rather than the houses being allocated to local families. This suggests that either Karbon are failing to prioritise locals, or there is insufficient local demand for large numbers of social houses.
Plans for the housing for vulnerable people are vague and we would like additional information to be released regarding this to allow for comment. The PC is aware that after the loss of the Sheiling (which was closed by NCC several years ago) there is no sheltered accommodation in the area for elderly residents. If the housing for vulnerable residents is exclusively for the use of the elderly, then this would be appropriate for the site. Should the vulnerable resident definition be expanded to people with social problems, this would cause a major problem for our area as we lack access to support facilities for them and have no permanent police presence anywhere nearby to deal with problems that may arise in any reasonable time frame.
Much of the existing local housing stock is being bought up by people from outside the area and/or are being converted into holiday properties. The small number of affordable homes available as shared ownership on the site will not help many young local families find property to buy in the village and is therefore a missed opportunity. There is a very poor reputation with shared ownership properties in the area, with residents in similar properties in Briar Hill telling us that they are proving difficult or impossible to mortgage and/or sell - making it impossible for young, local families to put down long-term roots in the local area. Assistance to buy would be a more appropriate scheme instead of shared ownership. In addition, as most of the bungalows are planned to be affordable rent, it is likely to prevent older local residents from selling their houses and downsizing (as they would not meet ‘affordable’ criteria) meaning that larger, family housing stock elsewhere in the village will not have the potential to be freed up by the new development.
The PC would like to see more information on how local residents would be given priority for access to these new homes. Other developments run by Karbon in the nearby area (as mentioned previously) have had families brought in from distant areas of the county instead of being allocated to locals in need of housing. We would like to see what covenants are proposed to stop this happening and give local priority so that we can comment on whether they are sufficient or not. We would also like to know how their consistent application will be monitored to ensure they are being applied.
Local residents and the PC are concerned about the facilities and services in the village and their ability to cope with circa 150 new residents. As well as the lack of shopping and jobs, the PC is especially concerned about the impact on the doctors surgery and paramedic facilities. These both cover a very wide area outside of just Bellingham and are already difficult to access by residents. The document states that discussions are ongoing with NCC about this - but this is insufficient. Not only would the PC wish to be involved with these discussions, but as they have not been concluded or included as part of the planning submission, it means that again we lack the information needed to make an informed comment. We would look to NCC to provide this information for comment by the PC and local residents before planning approval is granted.
For ease of use, we have referenced our remaining comments to the planning documentation provided on Northumberland County Council’s planning portal. Please refer to these when reviewing the comments below.
Design and Access Statement
Page 5 refers to the green space provided as part of the development - the PC would like to see more details about this space, the amenities, planting and expected uses of the site in order to be able to assess whether it is fit for purpose. We would also like to know who will be responsible for ongoing maintenance of the site as this has been an issue in previous housing developments in the area.
The PC would also like consideration to be given to using a small part of the existing proposed green area nearest the main road for additional car parking for the village. There is already a wide drop kerb at this point (at the old vehicular entrance to the mart field site) and a very small amendment to the planning for the site would create valuable free parking for a number of cars if bays are marked out properly. This small change would make a very big impact to the village given parking issues and would also likely improve local goodwill to the proposal.
We note this page also refers to the benefits of the new store on the site. As this is not yet through planning and is not guaranteed we feel that this cannot be used as a justification for the development of housing on the site.
Page 7 refers to the street lighting in the new development. Bellingham enjoys dark skies and is close to the Dark Sky zones in Northumberland. Recent previous planning (such as for the new Indian takeaway - reference 20/01113/FUL) included measures to ensure this was taken account of as part of the planning process but there is insufficient mention of the nature of the street lighting in this planning proposal - this would be necessary before the PC can adequately comment on this.
Pedestrian access to the site seems to be contradictory with page 8 showing one pedestrian access point next to the substation, while a second pedestrian link is highlighted to the same side path on page 10, but opposite the existing allotments. We would support the idea of both of these pedestrian access points rather than just the one next to the substation.
Page 9 outlines the parking facilities - the PC would like assurances that there will be car chargers/cabling for car chargers for at least one parking space per household as this will encourage uptake of electric vehicles - a key part of the local, county and national priorities. A law currently being promoted by the government will make this a requirement for new houses soon - so it seems sensible to plan for the future in this development.
Page 14 outlines the new housing for vulnerable individuals. We note there is no mention of how this will be managed as a site. Will there be a warden/staff on site at all times in case of emergency and for site cleaning and maintenance? How will the residents access amenities as these are limited in the village and public transport links to Newcastle and Hexham are poor - as evidenced in the transport plans undertaken as part of the planning process (see later). This information needs to be provided before planning can be finalised.
Page 17 notes that Bellingham contains ‘supermarkets’ and ‘medical centres’ and ‘many facilities’. There is currently a very small Co-op and one doctors surgery which is overstretched and covers the wider North Tyne area. There are relatively few facilities or jobs in the immediate area. We feel that this section is therefore misleading when taken as part of the planning application at this time.
Flood risk assessment
Drainage of surface water mentioned in paragraph 2.02 is to flow through a surface water sewer using manhole MH9502. This is stated to be on ‘Fairstead Field’. This is not accurate per the sewage maps held by the PC. This manhole cover is on private land next to the Fairstead and, to access it, developers will need to dig through part of the old railway line which is also on private land. Can the developers confirm that they have obtained suitable permissions from the owners to allow this to happen?
In addition, as has been raised by the PC with NWL and NCC separately, the drain pipe under the Fairstead is believed to be broken and causing flooding of the field. This will have to be investigated and repaired before any new connections into it are made.
We are pleased to note that the current drainage system is deemed acceptable for the additional use brought about by the new development. However has NWL taken into account the other new development agreed at land near Noble Street? Both have been granted permission by NWL in isolation but can assurances be sought that the system can cope with both developments together?
We note the plan to connect the sewage through manholes 9415, 9401 and 8303. Can NWL confirm that 9401 is correct as there appears to be no route through from the new Mart Field development to this manhole without crossing large amounts of private property.
Planning and Affordable Housing Statement
Page 9 notes the need for the development to contribute to infrastructure and the provision of necessary community facilities, but little or no information has been provided in the proposal as to how this will be accomplished. What contributions to local infrastructure will be made and how will this be administered? Without knowing this, the PC is unable to give a weighted view of the development and its impact on the area. In particular the PC notes the policies (LR11 and LR15 - and the planning obligations mentioned on page 17) requiring play areas and outdoor sports facilities. These do not appear to have been met in the proposal and we would like to know how and where such facilities will be provided, as well as how they will be maintained. Section 5 on page 25 notes the facilities will be agreed as part of the planning process, but without proposals it means that the PC is not able to comment on their adequacy. We would expect this information to be submitted in the near future, with sufficient time and notification for the PC to comment before planning is approved by NCC.
Page 11 notes the requirement to create new habitats for wildlife, but again this does not appear to have been adequately explained as part of the planning proposal and the PC would like clarification on how this will be achieved. 5.26 notes the plan to provide integrated bird and bat roosting opportunities. This is welcomed by the PC but again more information on how this is to be accomplished is needed before comment can be made.
Page 13 notes policy EN1 - there is no detail in the planning proposals about how energy usage will be minimised. There appears to be no plans for solar on any roof space within the site and the form of heating has also not been made clear. We would like urgent clarification of this. Failure to include renewables as well as energy efficient heating will lead to the houses being more expensive to run (going against the idea of ‘affordable’ living) and will not help NCC meet its target of net zero emissions for the county. This also links to policy QOP5 requiring consideration for mitigation to climate change. The plans on page 25 note ‘low emission heating systems’ but more is needed in the way of detail for the PC to be able to comment. Other estates nearby run by Karbon have been fitted with air source heating and it seems sensible to adopt the same approach on the Mart Field.
Page 18 looks at the mix of housing provided by the proposed development. As mentioned earlier in these comments, by the report’s own admission, the mix of housing (rental to ownership) is very significantly out of balance with appropriate policies and guidelines. While the current mix has been undertaken in consultation with NCC, the PC has seen no evidence of any analysis of the scale/number of social/rental properties needed by the immediate local area. While there has been a local survey several years ago (which identified the need for the sort of houses proposed), there has been no clear work done on the volume needed meaning that this scale of rental may be inappropriate for the area. The PC would expect to see work done on this to ensure the market is not oversaturated with rental properties that the local area does not need.
Page 20 section 5.14 considers the provision of facilities for people with impaired mobility but this is not explicitly explained. How will this be accomplished? Is this just drop kerbs mentioned in the transport plan?
Section 6 on page 26 also notes that any further planning requirements will be discussed and negotiated with NCC. Bellingham PC would hope to be involved in such discussions as, again, it leaves the PC in the position of lacking full information about the development on which it has a statutory right to comment upon.
Page 27 notes the impact on local jobs with up to 10 new full time jobs being supported. As the site will house 150 people, this still means the majority of residents will have to travel for work which is not sustainable or environmentally friendly without improved public transport. In addition, there is no new retail or business space being developed by this proposal, meaning it is unclear where these shops and businesses are that will be providing new work opportunities. Without further development within Bellingham of more retail, office and business space, any job creation will be highly uncertain.
Rightly this considered the impact of the proposed new store on the housing nearby. However there are concerns over the use of air conditioning in the new store - as a planning point forward, sufficient work needs to be done to ensure noise from such external machinery is minimised and appropriate buffers put in place.
The PC would also be interested in knowing the timescale for construction on the site. As with any housing estate there will be noise and disruption for nearby residents. We hope the timetable for construction will mean this does not continue for longer than absolutely necessary,
Bellingham PC was very happy to see the proposed planting of new trees on the site, as well as the plans to retain all the trees surrounding the site (including those on the old railway line). If this changes through the course of the development, the PC will look to be consulted about the removal of any trees.
The PC welcomes the planned archaeological review of the site to ensure no damage is done to any historic assets and we look forward to being informed of the results of this survey.
The new road entrance to the estate is broadly considered suitable, but the PC has some concerns that need addressing.
Firstly, given that cars will now be turning in and out of the development, the road markings need to be renewed so cars are not swinging too far out of their lane as they turn. The road markings on the B6320 have largely worn away.
We note that page 14 has the bus timetable - however this is not the correct timetable as it shows Hexham to Bellingham times - not the other way round, giving no real evidence of the usability of public transport to access Hexham. As noted the bus service to Newcastle is almost nonexistent - only on a Saturday. The timetables included show mid week bus services from Otterburn which is not relevant to this report as there is no public transport link between Bellingham and Otterburn.
While the PC notes the suggestion of car sharing apps, in reality (after investigation) these are not widely used in the area, making it largely irrelevant to the discussion on the impact of traffic from the estate.
Page 22 notes that the estate will reinstate the existing vehicular access that served the old Mart Field. This is incorrect as the proposed vehicular access is some distance from the old entrance which is now the location of the proposed green space (which is the area where we have proposed some additional public parking be placed for the village).
Page 23 notes that there will be pavements flanking the road entrance onto the B6320. However these are extremely short and will simply mean that people from the estate will have to step out onto the main road. The PC would like to see these pavements extended out from Fountains Cottage to the stone parapet bridge to allow safe access along the road for pedestrians coming out of the estate.
Page 27 notes (correctly) that the majority of traffic exiting the new estate will turn right towards the centre of Bellingham. This road is heavily congested with parked cars on the left from Crozier Cottage down to West Woodburn junction and is essentially therefore single track. This suggests additional traffic from the site could have difficulties and cause safety problems turning onto the main road into parked traffic. Creation of a parking bay using a small part of the proposed green field site, as proposed earlier, would help to alleviate this. In addition the congestion on the road caused by parking could cause issues for the heavy machinery needed to access the site through Bellingham during construction.
Statement of community involvement
Bellingham PC notes the challenges that faced the development consultation during the COVID period, however we do have some concerns about the nature of the consultation and the points inferred from it.
Firstly, the leaflet sent out to all residents had extremely limited information and missed out significant key points (i.e. the type of ownership, etc). There was no way to access additional information for residents without going online. Given the high proportion of elderly people in the consultation group, this would naturally tend to reduce the number of responses - as many older residents may simply not have had the ability to go online and get additional details about the development to help them come to an informed conclusion. This is evidenced by the fact on page 6 that residents asked what the mix of properties would be and on page 7 what the properties would look like - if this information had been more clearly available there would not have been requests of this nature.
It is worth noting that restrictions had been lifted for in-person consultations by the time the consultation proceeded so it was a choice by the developer, rather than legal restriction, to not offer face to face consultations.
It was also disappointing that the developer chose not to engage with the Parish Council in spite of promises to do so.
As such, assuming broad community approval based on the limited feedback received from the mail-shot for the plans is potentially misleading.
We also note that there are gaps in the points raised from feedback - it is known that several residents raised the issues of sustainability and renewable energy at the development but this is not part of the analysis document. Some residents also raised concerns about the number of rental houses vs houses for sale and this has also not been mentioned here. Given the small size of responses received it is disappointing that these have not been mentioned as part of the feedback.
Page 6 notes residents are concerned about the facilities and services in the village and their ability to cope with circa 150 new residents. As well as the lack of shopping and jobs, the PC is especially concerned about the impact on the doctors surgery and paramedic facilities. These both cover a very wide area outside of just Bellingham and are already difficult to access by residents. The document states that discussions are ongoing with NCC about this - but this is insufficient. Not only would the PC wish to be involved with these discussions, but as they have not been concluded or included as part of the planning submission, it means that again we lack the information needed to make an informed comment. We would look to NCC to provide this information for comment by the PC and local residents before planning approval is granted.
A similar issue is provided regarding the concern that the houses are available to local residents by priority. This is a key concern of the PC and local residents. All properties on the site need to have appropriate covenants ensuring that they are offered by priority to anyone in the local (North Tyne and Redesdale) area. Housing in Kielder has similar covenants which give residents from the immediate area priority for a number of weeks, then gradually extends the area out if no interested residents can be found. It is of paramount importance that the site is able to benefit local residents. Again, not only would the PC wish to be involved with these discussions, but as they have not been concluded or included as part of the planning submission, it means that again we lack the information needed to make an informed comment. We would look to NCC to provide this information for comment by the PC and local residents before planning approval is granted.
Page 8 refers to the developer contributions - again the PC and local residents should be informed about what these developer contributions will be and where and when they will be spent before planning is finally approved.
The PC has some queries regarding the boundary fencing to the site:
The PC supports the 1800mm close boarded fence across the boundary with the old railway line, but with accessibility for local wildlife to be built in.
the side of the development adjoining the substation and Malting Close has an existing, long dry stone wall. While we know that sections of this will have to be removed for pedestrian access points, the wall itself is in keeping with the aesthetic of the village and we would like this to retained as the boundary to the site - even if the proposed fencing is put in on the other side of the wall.
The main electricity supply for the village currently runs on poles across the Mart Field. These poles do not seem to be on the current proposal drawings but there is no information in the documentation outlining what is planned for this wiring.
As outlined, there are some real positives to the development and the PC appreciates the work that has gone into production of the planning documents.
However the PC cannot support the proposals until the above points have been actioned and, in many cases, until more information about key issues has been provided. Once these concerns are addressed to maximise benefit for the local area and the additional information needed has been released (as outlined in this document) it will allow residents and the PC to give an informed response to every aspect of the proposed development.
20 September 2021Corsenside Parish Council are looking for a new Clerk
Our friends at Corsenside Parish Council are looking for a new Parish Clerk.
11 September 2021A big thank your from the Great North Air Ambulance Service
06 September 2021Last Chance to Claim Your Gigabit Broadband Voucher!
The current Government voucher scheme for Gigabit Broadband closes on the 24th September.
If you have previously registered for your voucher to get free installation and a free months trial of the 1Gbps (1000mbps) full fibre to the home broadband service but not clicked the link on the email from the DCMS you will need to re-register so you don't miss out!
Email the WeFibre team at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will re-submit your voucher to the DCMS.
Work to build our new Gigabit network has begun and connections are only £20 per month for residential and small businesses with 1000mbps download AND upload speeds.
More information is available on our Gigabit Broadband page.
06 September 2021North Tyne Youth - September - October What's On
20 August 2021C202 Redesmouth Bridge Closure
Phase 2 of the work to refurbish Redesmouth Bridge is due to start shortly.
Work is scheduled will run from Monday 6th September through to Sunday 17th October (Dates subject to change).
During this 24/7 closure there will be no access across the bridge. Diversions will be in place via West Woodburn.
Further up to date details can be found at by clicking the link below.
10 August 2021Monument Repair Work Set to Commence in Cemetery
We recently completed safety surveys in the cemetery near The Croft which highlighted 42 monuments in need of repair.
Following sign off by the Parish Council work to repair and make these monuments safe will commence on Monday 16th August.
The work will be completed in two phases depending on the level or work required. Some basic repairs are being completed by Northumberland County Council while other more complicated repairs are being completed by a registered Memorial Mason.
Any monuments in need of repair have been tagged with a small marker or marked off with hazard tape.
05 August 2021New Path for Jubilee Field
Work to finish the recently widened path through the Jubilee Field has been completed this week with the addition of its top gravel layer.
The newly refreshed section runs from the entrance by the car park/playground around the field past the picnic tables to the riverside walk entrance.
The path now matches the style of the section Northumberland County Council improved from the bridge past the bottom of Riverdale a few months ago.
26 July 2021Gigabit Voucher Email - Action Required!
There are still a number of you who have yet to action the email from Gigabit Vouchers. This is the actual DCMS email that arranges your funding for the WeFibre gigabit broadband service so needs to be actioned in order for you to receive your free installation.
If you haven't clicked through you should receive the email again today - check your SPAM folder just in case it's there. As mentioned before, if you are a business or a homeworker please click the business option as it pays a larger voucher into the pot which really helps the build!
Work on building the network has now started and people will start to be connected to the Gigabit goodness very soon.
Make sure you don't miss out and click the link in the email asap!
22 July 2021WeFibre Gigabit Broadband Build Work Underway!
The first spade went into the ground today marking the start of build of our exciting new WeFibre Gigabit broadband network!
The team from Pioneer Utilities have commenced work to install our new fibre cabinet and the associated ducting which will allow WeFibre to connect homes and businesses via existing underground ducts and overhead poles throughout the parish.
It's not too late to join the party - check out our dedicated Gigabit Broadband page HERE for more details of whats on offer.
Watch out for more contractors from Telcom Infrastructure in the coming weeks as we move to the next phase of the build!
19 July 2021Pedestrian Bridge Refreshed
Depending on your age you'll either know it as the white bridge, the Vet's bridge, or for those of us who are slightly older, the Police Station bridge, but whatever you call it the bridge has been in need of some attention for a long time!
As part of out rolling refresh of the village we have taken the opportunity to tidy up what was a scruffy looking bridge and it now looks much more how we'd expect. We hope you like the end result.
12 July 2021Refreshed Picnic Tables in the Jubilee Field
A couple of the picnic tables that have been in the Jubilee Field since it opened in the 1970’s were looking a little worse for wear. It’s not helped that people have been using disposable barbecues on the wooden tops!
We’ve replaced the top on one of the worn out tables and will look to do the other over the next few days.
On the subject of the Jubilee Field, you may have noticed the path joining the car park to the riverside walk has been widened. We will be gravelling the path over the next couple of weeks to match it to the path that runs under the Tyne Bridge.
30 June 2021New Lifebuoy for the Jubilee Field
As we get into the summer more and more people are visiting the Jubilee Field and having a dip in the cooling waters of the North Tyne.
With safety in mind we have installed a new Lifebuoy safety ring to replace the one that was destroyed by vandals several years ago.
The ring is one of those things that is good to have but we hope never to see used!
Thanks to Michael at MB Handyman Services for installing it for us.
25 June 2021North Tyne Youth - Summer Programme 2021
24 June 2021NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF UNAUDITED ANNUAL GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN
Bellingham Parish Council
NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF UNAUDITED ANNUAL GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN
ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2021
Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 25, 26 and 27
The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)
The Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus)(Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/404)
1. Date of Announcement: 24 June 2020
2. Each year the smaller authority’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by the Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd. The unaudited AGAR has been published with this notice. As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review.
Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2021, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:
The Parish Clerk, email: email@example.com
commencing on: 24th June 2021
and ending on: 4th August 2021
3. Local government electors and their representatives also have:
- The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and
The right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority.
The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose and between the above dates only.
4. The smaller authority’s AGAR is subject to review by the appointed auditor under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the NAO’s Code of Audit Practice 2015. The appointed auditor is:
PKF Littlejohn LLP (Ref: SBA Team)
15 Westferry Circus
London E14 4HD
5. This announcement is made by B. Dickson-Green, Parish Clerk.
18 June 2021New Parking Signage for Bellingham Village Centre
The Parish Council is aware of the difficulties with parking in Bellingham during the busy tourist season, with many vistiors parking in the centre of the village before heading off on their walks around our fantastic area.
Parking comes under the responsibility of Highways at Northumberland County Council and the Parish Council is in ongoing talks with them to try to get them to improve the parking offering in and around Bellingham.
In order to try and help relieve some of the pressure in the interim, the Parish Council has installed a new sign outside of the old Barclay's Bank which is hoped will help direct visitors to two parking areas we do manage - the Jubilee Field car park and the Fairstead.
Both are already used by visitors but it is hoped this additional signage will help reduce the pressure on parking in the village centre until other solutions can be found by NCC.
It also has the added bonus of tidying up a scruffy part of the sign which has been overstuck since the closure of the Tourist Information Centre at Fountain Cottage several years ago.
15 June 2021Gigabit Broadband Update - Action Required!
If you have already registered with WeFibre, our chosen gigabit broadband supplier, you will shortly receive an email from "Gigabit Vouchers" with the subject "UK Gigabit Voucher Scheme - action required". This is from the DCMS.
Some email services may see this as Spam so make sure you check your Spam folder if you don't get the email in your inbox.
You need to open the email and click the link to validate your voucher request.
Complete the form which will ask you if you are a Business, Sole Trader or Resident. Remember to select one of the business options if they apply to you - even if you run a business from home.
The form will state you are agreeing to Telcom (which is WeFibre's parent company) requesting a voucher of your behalf.
Once completed you will receive a confirmation email and you can sit back, relax and wait for WeFibre to install your ultrafast connection!
It's not too late to join the party if you haven't registered your interest yet. Visit wefibre.com/grants and register your details. The package on offer is a 1Gbps download AND upload full fibre connection direct to your property for only £20 per month for residential and small businesses!
You can find our more on our Gigabit Broadband page.
04 June 2021Village Refresh Continues
Our refresh of the village continues - this time we have repaired Robert Stewart's memorial bench outside the old Barclays Bank.
A number of the seating planks were snapped with screws exposed and several of the back uprights had rotted through so these have all been replaced with new and the bench repainted to match the other benches we have.
This is the start of a rolling programme to refresh or repair all of our village assets.
04 June 2021Bellingham Looking Blooming Lovely!
A huge thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers who have once again helped Bellingham Bloom!
The winter daffodil and tulip displays have been removed for another year and replaced with amazing summer bedding.
Edwin & Pat Wilkinson have also worked their magic in the Town hall garden.
Thank you to all who have sponsored or donated to this years floral displays and an ongoing thank you to all who have volunteered to keep all of the barrels and baskets watered! You are all amazing!
If you would like to help out with the watering please get in touch and we will pass on your details.
27 May 2021Thank you for attending our APM
Thank you to all who attended this evenings online meeting.
Technology got the better of a few of us but you can still have your say.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts!
24 May 2021Have Your Say On What We Do
We will be holding our Annual Parish Meeting on Thursday 27th May at 7pm.
This is an opportunity for the community to put forward any ideas or suggestions for things they would like the Parish Council to take forward on their behalf over the next year and will be used as a basis to form a formal Parish Plan.
Please note that due to ongoing COVID social distancing restrictions this session will be held online via ZOOM.
ZOOM Meeting ID - 460 180 0273
Link to the Meeting - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4601800273
In addition to this session we will look to run a face to face meeting later in the year once COVID restrictions are lifted.
It would be great to see as many people join the online meeting as possible to share your thoughts on making Bellingham an even better place to live and work.
20 May 2021Bellingham Cemetery - Memorial Testing
As part of our mandatory safety checks we are in the process of safety testing the memorials in the cemetery.
Please note if you see a small warning notice in front of a memorial it has been identified as being unsafe and in need of repair.
Please do not remove any of these notices.
Thank you for your co-operation with this sensitive matter.
20 May 2021Co-option Opportunity - Join us on Bellingham Parish Council
Following the recent uncontested election result we have spaces for two people to join us as councillors on Bellingham Parish Council.
If you are interested send a copy of your CV and a covering letter saying why you would like to join us to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing date for applications is Friday 4th June.
20 May 2021Live it. Love it. Leave it Unspoilt
Whether you fancy a big walk or a little wander, hiking paths or biking trails, the Northumberland countryside around Bellingham has loads of adventures on offer. And we need your help to keep every mile as safe as possible and as spectacular as ever.
Please leave #UnspoiltNorthumberland just like you find it. #RespectProtectEnjoy
17 May 2021North Tyne Youth - May 2021 Half Term Activities
26 April 2021Free parking at Kielder Water and Forest Park
Kielder Water & Forest Park are continuing with the offer of a free permit for car parking up to March 2022 to residents of the following villages -
Byrness, Rochester, Otterburn, Bellingham, Tarset, Kielder, Falstone, West Woodburn, Ridsdale, Wark, Stonehaugh and Redesmouth.
If you wish to apply for a residents’ permit, the details are as follows:
The parking pass is available from Kielder Waterside where production of a utility bill or council tax bill to confirm your address will be required. One parking pass per household
The parking pass will need to be renewed annually
If you need any more information please contact Kielder Water and Forest Park via email: email@example.com.
10 April 2021Return of Result of Uncontested Election
Return of Result of Uncontested Election
As the number of candidates for Bellingham Parish Council was less than the number of seats available there will not be an election for the Parish Council in May.
The below persons have been duly elected without a contest.
There are two unoccupied seats that the Parish Council will look to fill by co-option as soon as possible following the May meeting.
08 April 2021B6320 Road Closure - Saturday 10th April
** ROAD CLOSURE REMINDER **
In case you haven't seen the B6320 will be closed to all vehicular traffic at the old railway bridge by Darmel House from 8am to 5pm this Saturday, 10th April.
A diversion is in place via the A68 towards Otterburn and West Woodburn.
07 April 2021Waste Soil from St Cuthberts Graveyard - Action Required
A number of people have been using waste soil from the skips in Manchester Square which has been excavated from the earthworks in St Cuthbert's Church graveyard behind the Black Bull.
There is a small chance that any soil taken could contain traces of bones from very old unmarked graves.
If you have taken soil and find any of these bone fragments can you please put them in a container and leave them inside St Cuthbert's Church and they will be re-buried as appropriate.
Thank you for your assistance.
03 April 2021North Tyne Youth - April/May What's On
26 March 2021NOTICE OF ELECTION
25 March 2021Jubilee Field Car Park Fencing Completed
The recently extended Jubilee Field car park has been completed with the addition of the new perimeter fence.
21 March 2021Painting of the Cemetery Railings Takes a Step Forward
The outside of the cemetery fence that has stood half painted since lockdown hit at the end of last year has finally been completed!
The inside is still to finish but it looks great from the road when passing now!
19 March 2021Bellingham Housing Survey Details
There was a housing survey undertaken a couple of years ago around the future housing needs of the people of Bellingham and the surrounding area.
The report is available for you to view on our website HERE.
18 March 2021Bellingham in Bloom would like your help!
The wonderful volunteers at Bellingham in Bloom are once again planning a fantastic floral display for the village this summer and are looking for some volunteers to help out with watering the planters.
If you can spare a hour or so over the week to join the team of waterers looking after the displays, please contact Christine Bragg on 220855.
Thank you for your help in making Bellingham Bloom!
18 March 2021 Do you want to stand for Bellingham Parish Council?
Do You Want to Stand for Bellingham Parish Council?
County and Parish Council elections will be held on May 6th 2021
If you wish to stand for a seat on the Parish Council in Bellingham, you can get the relevant nomination and electoral register forms direct from Northumberland County Council (NCC) using the following email address:
Guidance and deadlines:
You can get helpful guidance on the process, along with timetables for the elections here:
NCC offer a checking service for nomination forms before they are submitted, which can be booked here:
Further information about standing for public office can also be found here:
11 March 2021Time is running out for FREE GIGABIT BROADBAND INSTALLATION!
BELLINGHAM, REDESMOUTH & CHARLTON
TIME IS RUNNING OUT TO GUARANTEE YOUR FREE INSTALLATION (Saving at least £49!)
WeFibre are building a new Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband network throughout our Parish and will be providing speeds upto 1Gbps (1000Mbps) Download AND Upload to homes and small businesses from only £20 per month*.
The new network is being funded by the Government's Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme.
- Broadband usage is more than doubling every year.
- The existing network in the area that all current providers use doesn't come anywhere near the speeds on offer.
- Applications to the scheme end on the 31st March 2021.
- Voucher claims are non-binding. It simply secures your funding for the next 12 months giving you FREE INSTALLATION!
- You can try the service for free for 30 days with no obligation! Why not try it out and if you aren't blown away by the 1Gbps (1000Mbps) speeds you can leave with no hard feelings!
- Claim your free Government voucher today at wefibre.com/grants and let Boris & Rishi pay for your installation!!
DON'T MISS OUT ON GETTING THE BEST BROADBAND SPEEDS IN THE COUNTRY FUNDED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Your voucher gets you FREE INSTALLATION (Saving £49)
30 Day Free Trial of the service. If you aren't blown away by the 1000Mbps (1Gbps) speeds you can leave free of charge - No hard feelings!
Your voucher lasts for 12 months so you don't have to try the service straight away. Get your voucher claimed so you don't miss out in the months to come when you see how great your friends and neighbour's new broadband is!
What if I don’t claim my voucher?
Once the network is built, any properties which didn’t take service initially can request to be added and WeFibre will come back and connect them. (NB: Voucher funding currently runs out on 31st March and there have been no announcements of a replacement scheme. It is better to claim your no obligation voucher now to guarantee your free installation for any time over the next 12 months.)
If the network hasn’t been built out to your location as a part of the initial build and voucher funding is no longer available then charges may apply for getting connected, so it’s better to take advantage of this unique opportunity and reserve your voucher today.
*£20 per month on a 12 month contract. £30 per month for a 30 day rolling contract.