Conservation area plan set to go ahead

AN extension to the Bedlington conservation area has finally been recommended for approval by Northumberland County Council’s executive after a two-year delay.

The conservation area will now include Brown’s Buildings in Ridge Terrace; Catholic Row, including St Bede’s RC Church; Spring View; 1 to 4 Church Lane; the council offices’ car park in Front Street West; and land to the north of Perrystone Mews.

The process of extending the conservation area stalled when it came to light, after the policy was adopted by the full council in April 2009, that objections made on behalf of the West Bedlington Community Partnership during a public consultation period in 2008 had not been taken into account.

Following a new consultation at the beginning of this year, the partnership made nine representations.

These centred around opposition to including 1 to 4 Church Lane in the conservation area as it considered that designation unsuitable and feared it would lead to a drop in house prices and extra expense for the houses’ owners.

The executive also gave the thumbs-up to a conservation area management strategy supplementary planning document for Bedlington.

Both matters will go before the full council at its next meeting.