County Councillor Report (May 2023)
firstname.lastname@example.org – Tel. 07779 983072
And also on Facebook: Cllr Wendy Pattison
[All text and above portrait image provided by Cllr Wendy Pattison and used with permission. Received: 27 Apr 2023.]
June deadline for community grant applications
Apply for the community chest scheme
Voluntary and community groups across the county that are in need of financial assistance are being invited to apply for funding from Northumberland County Council’s community chest scheme.
The money can be used for a wide range of community causes including those that enhance the environment and promote health and wellbeing. The grant has also been particularly helpful to youth groups and sports groups.
Grants of 75% up to a maximum of £5,000 are available and there is no minimum amount for applications.
The deadline for the next round of funding is June 2, and the application process is very straight forward.
Click here for more information and how to apply for the community chest scheme or email: email@example.com
Advanced technology trialled on county road
Advanced road maintenance technology is being trialled on one of the county’s busiest roads.
Motorists driving northbound on the A189 between the Three Horseshoes roundabout to Bebside will notice a difference to the road surface as they travel along the stretch.
The improvement to the road surface, road markings and cat eyes is aimed at improving safety and visibility in all conditions. The technique and road marking products used are more environmentally friendly and longer wearing than standard methods and products.
The centre-line road marking has a slightly raised dotted profile marking which gives improved visibility, especially during wet nights in comparison to other road marking products.
The dotted profile on the road marking enables the marking to stand above sitting water to ensure retro-reflection is maintained for drivers. It also produces a slight noise when passed over, which can further increase safety. Its surface material has a longer life expectancy compared to previous road marking products and also uses 73% less carbon.
The road surface itself has been retextured using shot blasting to improve the skid resistance. Retexturing the worn surface is vastly cheaper than resurfacing it and is significantly quicker and more environmentally friendly with a much lower carbon footprint.
Waste material is captured by the resurfacing vehicle, taken back to a depot and then sent away for processing before being used to help build new roads.
High hedge complaints
Planting a hedge can be an ideal garden boundary but the wrong hedge may cause problems if it is not regularly maintained.
High Hedges are dealt with under Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. The Government have published guidance on how to settle your hedge differences without involving the local authority:
Read Over the Garden Hedge on the Gov.uk website before you complain to the Council.
Provided you have tried and exhausted all other avenues for resolving your hedge dispute, you are now able to make a formal complaint about a neighbour’s evergreen hedge to your local authority.
Read High Hedges Complaining to the Council on the Gov.uk website before you contact us.
If you are unable to resolve a high hedge issue, please:
- Ensure you read the High Hedge Complaint Form Guidance Notes
- Pay the £400 fee for a High Hedge Complaint online
- Scan and email your High Hedge Complaint to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hedgerow removal notice
If you want to remove all or part of a protected countryside hedgerow you must give the Council 42 days written notice. Work must not start within this period. You could get an unlimited fine if you break these rules.
A hedgerow is protected, meaning you cannot remove it if it meets the criteria for hedgerow length, location and ‘importance’ listed on gov.uk.
- The criteria explains that a hedgerow is protected if it’s on or next to a protected European site, site of special scientific interest and local nature reserve. You can view these layers on our interactive Northumberland planning constraints map.
- If the hedgerow is within the National Park your application should be submitted directly to the Northumberland National Park Authority.
Apply to remove a countryside hedgerow:
View a checklist of what to include with your hedgerow removal notice
Submit a hedgerow removal notice on the Planning Portal
There is no planning fee to submit a hedgerow removal notice. When you make your application online via the Planning Portal they will not apply a service charge as this type of notice is exempt.
What happens next
As soon as we receive your notice we will check it. If your submission is missing information or is incorrect we will send you an invalid/return letter explaining why. If your submission is valid (includes everything we require) we will send you an acknowledgement letter with a decision target date. If you do not receive this within 10 days of submission please contact us to check we have received it.
We have 42 days to respond to your written notice to remove a hedgerow. You are entitled to remove the hedgerow if you do not hear back from us within the 42 day period. We will issue either: a hedgerow retention notice (if the hedge is protected and must be kept) or a written notice giving permission to remove it in the way you have proposed.
All communications will go to the agent named on the application form. If you do not name an agent we will communicate with the applicant. If you do not state an email address we will respond by post. Please check emails (and your spam folder) regularly and respond as soon as possible to avoid delay.
- Read the rules for removing countryside hedgerows on gov.uk
- Read part 2 of schedule 1 of the Hedgerow Regulations 1997
- Report unauthorised works to trees (a breach of planning control) online
Trees in conservation areas
Trees in a conservation area that are not already protected by a Tree Preservation Order or TPO are still protected by legislation. If works are carried out without giving notice or you deliberately damage or destroy a tree you could be prosecuted and fined up to £20,000
Works to trees
If you want to cut down, top, lop (cut off a branch, limb or twig) or uproot a tree in a conservation area you must give us six weeks’ notice. Work must not start within the six week period. Submitting notice of your intention to carry out work gives us chance to consider if it is acceptable and if an order should be made to protect the trees. You are not required to give notice for the following:
- works to a tree whose diameter does not exceed 75mm or 100mm if cutting down trees to improve the growth of other trees, e.g. thinning. Diameter must be measured over the bark of the tree at 1.5 metres above ground level and, where a tree has more than one stem at 1.5m each stem should be measured at that point
- works carried out by, or on behalf of us
- works necessary to implement a planning permission
- the necessary pruning of fruit trees for cultivation on a commercial basis
- if the tree needs urgent works to make it safe see ‘works to dead or dangerous trees’
Find out how to give notice for works to trees in a conservation area.