A horrified councillor has spoken of her frustration and concern after irate residents hurled abuse at planning-committee members over a string of controversial applications.
Several angry people in the public gallery made their feelings clear at various stages of the planning and performance committee, which was held in the council chamber at County Hall on December 22.
Following the approval of a contentious scheme for a mast to be erected at Beadnell – approved by a five-three majority – one objector ranted that the applicant’s agent ‘was a liar’ before angrily stating ‘do your job properly’ towards councillors who supported the bid.
This followed another member of the public who directed sarcastic comments towards councillors after they agreed by a five-four majority to defer an outline bid for six houses in Amble for a site visit.
And committee chairman Coun Dougie Watkin had to warn an objector for an outburst during a discussion between councillors for an outline proposal of 10 homes at Longframlington, which was later unanimously approved.
Reacting to these heated moments, Coun Lynne Grimshaw said: “We have received verbal abuse on a number of occasions during this meeting. It is not pleasant. We are not making these decisions on purpose, we are doing what we have to do.”
Coun Watkin agreed and, as chairman, apologised for what had happened.