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Gosforth eFocus No 18

August 31, 2014 10:44 PM
By Gosforth Liberal Democrats
More news, more quickly from the 9 Liberal Democrat Councillors representing Gosforth wards. We're always happy to add more people to the circulation - just let us know
A stunning victory for veteran Lib Dem campaigner Gerry Keating in North Jesmond Ward of Newcastle City Council with 52.5% of the vote UKIP beaten into 4th place just ahead of Greens despite glossy campaign and people on the streets. Labour tried hard but way back from their May share. Many thanks to everybody who came to help inc Berwick PPC Julie Porksen. Full voting figures Lib Dem 711, Lab 320, Con 117, UKIP 112, Green 94
70% of new businesses start from home. So the Coalition Government is updating some rules to help. Updated planning guidance will confirm that planning permission is not needed to run a business from home. Running a business from a rented home will be made simpler with the law changing so landlords do not feel residential tenancy agreements are undermined. New business rates guidance will clarify that in the majority of cases, home-based businesses will not need to pay business rates
Ward Committees have small amounts of funds to help voluntary bodies and community projects. Parklands Ward has approved a grant of £1000 to the Natural History Society of Northumbria.
This is the update we've just had from the Director :
"I wanted to write on behalf of the Society to say how pleased we are and to thank you for the grant towards the costs of a new wildlife viewing hide and boardwalk for Gosforth Park Nature Reserve. I also wanted to let you know that we now have enough funds required to proceed with the project.
"We have all planning permissions and consents and are appointing South Bay engineers to install the piles and base for the new hide, which we hope will take place at the end of September. Our volunteers started work this week and have taken down the old hide. Over the next few weeks we will be dismantling the old boardwalk and creating a route through the reedbed for the contractor's vehicle, as well as starting work on the new hide and boardwalk."
Parklands Ward is also one of three who have given a grant to the Daft as a Brush charity to support volunteers who provide a transport service for cancer patients. You may have seen their HQ on the Great North Road with floral troughs linked to a range of supporting schools in Newcastle and environs.
If you are a member of a voluntary group working for people especially in the Gosforth area where a small grant can help you achieve your plans, any of your local Liberal Democrat councillors would love to hear from you and point you in the right direction.
M&S NEW BUILDING AT REGENT CENTRE ROUNDABOUT (while it remains a roundabout...)
There have been further issues on the site. The pavement has been temporarily closed and residents complained that the alternative was not up to scratch. Cllr Gallagher asked the Highways Department to check it out. The officer met with the contractor on site on Wednesday and was satisfied that the temporary diversion route was working satisfactorily. However Henry raised additional concerns about the diversion as the schools return next week. The officer therefore discussed this with the contractor on Friday to heighten awareness of the additional concern and ensure that all measures are in place and maintained for the duration of the footway closure.
The closure is anticipated to be in operation until 15 September.
Work has been going on at Rectory Terrace for a number of weeks and this has been a major inconvenience for residents. The roads and paths have been blocked and there have been times when areas such as the cul-de-sac was impassable due to the contractor's trucks, vans and trailers. As the work was ending residents were also disappointed with the standard of reinstatement for the pavements and the cobbled lane.
The path in the lane was previously a mix of predominately flagstones and concrete with some tarmac patches. As the lane is quite narrow a lot of the flagstones and concrete were cracked and damaged due to overriding vehicles. In an effort to minimise any future damage the contractor reinstated the path with tarmac which is more durable when overridden by vehicles. We passed on everyone's concerns and we are happy to report that the area will be reinstated permanently with cobbles.
However work has now moved to Rectory Road and issues are emerging there already. Lib Dem Councillors have asked the Highways officers to investigate on residents behalf.
Work has now begun on building the petrol station
Letting Boards left standing for months/years on end have always been annoying to residents of areas with many flats and HMOs. When the Liberal Democrats were in power, we started the procedure to control these and this has now progressed to the Secretary of State accepting the Council's application to restrict their use severely from January 2015. From then, the erection of letting boards will not be allowed without the Council's permission. We will be seeing how this works in areas such as Gosforth and High West Jesmond and we will be looking forward to hearing from residents about how the scheme is working.
Looks like the Melton Park Care Home extension application won't be going to the first September Planning Committee. We're pressing to learn if it will go to the second one at the end of the month. In the mean time, work seems to be continuing under the previous permission. Residents are already expressing their concerns about the impact of construction traffic (including dirt)
34 Westfield Drive, Gosforth NE3 4XY
Pitched roof with Velux roof lights to side
Lawful Development Certificates are sought to make sure proposals don't actually need planning permission. Example for proposed single storey extension at70 Polwarth Road, Brunton Park, NE3 5NE Ref: 2014/1267/01/LDC
Trees with Preservation Orders need permission for work to be done e.g. Meadowfield, North Brunton Ref: 2014/1294/01/TRE
Single storey sun room extension at 31 The Fairway, NE3 5AP, Ref: 2014/1263/01/DET
Multiple extensions at 18 Willerby Drive, Gosforth NE3 5LL
Kitchen extension at 35 Greystoke Park NE3 2DZ Ref ; 20104/1246/01/DET
Do planning applications matter and will the Council do anything about infractions anyway. Yes and yes are the answers. Here's an expurgated incident that concluded in Gosforth last week.

The Planning Enforcement Team received a complaint about unauthorised installation of paving. Following investigations they established that the hard-standing as constructed required planning permission. This was due to the hard-standing being more than 5 square metres in area, not made of porous materials and without direct run-off water to a permeable or porous area within the curtilage of the dwelling.

They contacted those responsible and requested that they install a soak away across the hard-standing which directs any surface run-off water to a permeable or porous area within the curtilage of the dwelling.

A site inspection confirmed that all the remedial works had been completed and the hard-standing now appears to fall within 'permitted development' which does not require formal planning approval from the Local Planning Authority.

To move away from collections on paper format, week commencing 8th September the Council will be installing a computer software system in the vehicles that will identify every garden waste customer on specific rounds. This will assist the regular teams and any staff deployed to cover for annual leave. It will take a few weeks to settle in following the relevant training being provided to the crews.
Shout out for Peter, the Rapid Response Officer who sorts out niggling little issues for us quickly (recently spotted repainting a street sign on Brunton Park)
And for our constabulary. We've already passed on thanks to our local police team and to the Police & Crime Commissioner for the rapid response to the newsagent on the Great North Road in the middle of the night. We understand those found on the scene are now "helping with enquiries"
Volunteers are always needed in most areas. Contact us if you can help.
If you know of anyone who would welcome help in solving a dispute, there is a mediation service funded by Newcastle Quakers called Conflict Resolution Network - details can be found at www.newcastlecrn.org.uk
Gosforth eFocus is brought to you by
​David Down, Pauline Allen and ​Robin Ashby ​.
Liberal Democrat Councillor​s​ for Parklands Ward
Reporting email ​:​ pauline.allen@newcastle.gov.uk
Henry Gallagher, Peter Legott and David Slesenger ​.
Liberal Democrat Councillors for East Gosforth
Jackie Slesenger, Bill Shepherd and Nick Cott ​ ​
Liberal Democrat Councillors for West Gosforth ​
All in the great city of Newcastle upon Tyne
Write to any of them ​ ​​c/o ​ 5 Rudby Close
Whitebridge Park
Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 5JF
Leave a message on: 07824420705
Follow us on Facebook : Parklands Ward Liberal Democrats, East Gosforth Liberal Democrats and West Gosforth Liberal Democrats
And on Twitter @parklands_ward, @newcastlelibdems
Published & Promoted by David Down for ​ David Down, Pauline Allen, Robin Ashby, Henry Gallageher, Peter Legott, David Slesenger, Jackie Slesenger, Bill Shepherd and Nick Cott (Liberal Democrats), all at 9 Chelton Close, Newcastle, NE13 7NF. We use email addresses to send you more information, more quickly. If not wanted, return with UNSUBSCRIBE in subject li