Planning: Less influence of authorities

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Certain planning arguments have been around for many years.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) mentioning the number of homes that could be built on brownfield sites is an important issue, but undeveloped fields still get built on, rather than developers making use of the amount of brownfield sites that could be used instead.

Yes, there is a continued demand for more housing, but the reducing influence that local planning authorities appear to have on developers’ actions is a difficult situation.

I wonder if the clock will ever be turned back to when it was a different situation.

It’s been some years since I was in Ellington so until I read the recent article, I was unaware that the speed cushions had been removed, (Morpeth Herald, March 21).

I do remember the speed cushions and what it was like to go over them. They would have cost a fair old sum to install and to remove.

The replacement approach would have a further cost, but local people will be able to observe how effective it is against drivers who exceed the appropriate speed for the area.

For a long-term approach the challenge will be to engage with local car drivers to the same extent as residents or pedestrians so that something positive comes form further change in the road design.

I was waiting in a queue in Morpeth Bus Station recently to get on a Newcastle-bound bus when I overheard a couple behind me talking about the development of the former RAFA Club.

“The house is coming along nicely”, one person said to the other.

As I was looking at the side of the building facing the bus station at the same time, I explained about the restaurant plan.

I couldn’t give much more information than is on the display boards at these sites, but given the quality of the work being done, the final building will be something that the generations of local characters who visited the old RAFA Club would appreciate.

A friend of mine who I have worked with for years is retiring soon. I have had time in recent weeks to ponder on how much I’ll miss his banter, but given the various ways of keeping in touch these days, it won’t be difficult.

I’m old enough to remember the days when I could guarantee running into friends in Morpeth Market Place, back in the days when Mr Penman’s flower stall was there.

These days it’s more unpredictable when you run into friends, you just keep a mental note of questions that need answers.

Robert Pollard

Northbourne Avenue

Morpeth