I received a letter from Northumberland Council’s planning department in response to my concern at the length of time the way through from Princes Gardens to Albion Way in Blyth has been lost.
As is the way of planning, there are strict rules by which we, the public, are constrained. Rules for developers - not so much.
I had thought the path in question was a right of way, but planning point out that it stops at the exit from Princes Gardens. The company Surgo, which now owns the land, has blocked off by fences the rest of the way through to Albion Way, so that the right of way ends in a cul de sac, with a few houses and a residential home.
The residential home says on its website it is near public transport. It is, but now it is via a curving hill.
Apparently the council cannot exert Surgo to speed up the development because it has already started, meaning a couple of shallow trenches dug and the fences put up, and those well over a year ago.
Planning did, however, ask that a footpath be created linking Princes Gardens to Albion Way, which formed part of the planning permission.
The reason for the delay has been given as a shortage of project managers.
Shame, because Surgo also own an adjacent piece of land which has lain derelict with a tatty fence for more than the four years I have lived here.
I understood that developers had three years in which to develop land or need to re-apply for planning permission.
I intend to submit an application to the council, which I may do, I am told, showing ‘user evidence’ to make an Order to record the public right of way.
If anyone wishes to help me with this by giving me ‘user evidence’ – when I find out what that entails – please give me a call on (01670) 459509 anytime.