Continue We want you to get the most out of using this website, which is why we and our partners use cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to receive these cookies. You can find out more about how we use cookies here.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Reason gives way to bickering as Duke’s scheme saga continues

I KNOW, I know - I haven’t written for a while. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m intensely, unforgivably lazy, so please, um, forgive me.

 Anyway, there I was this morning, settled on an idea for my blog, when it suddenly struck me that I’ve had the idea before and indeed translated it into text.

Basically, I was going to say something about how the public only turn out at Prudhoe Town Council when the Duke of Northumberland’s £30 million redevelopment plans are up for debate.

However, I tackled the subject last year and have no intention of repeating myself. But doesn’t the fact such a dilemma has occurred throw up some interesting issues in itself?

Town councils, as you may or may not know, are statutory consultees in the planning process, meaning, one might like to think, that their views will carry some sway.

In Prudhoe’s case, members have been asked to consider the Duke’s plans (in their current form alone) four times, as more and more information is demanded of and provided by the developer.

Rather than commenting on specific changes - recently, a more detailed environmental impact assessment - they have look at the application as a whole and make their minds up as to whether they support it, object to it or offer no objections.

The scheme is controversial enough without this kind of repeated pressure.

And at Prudhoe the sense of division is magnified by the fact the council’s overall verdict has typically come down to turnout on the night, so evenly are members split in their opinions.

On Wednesday, the debate became personal, bordering on vicious, as councillors sought to damn one other, rather than stick to their views on the scheme.

In short, such bickering does little to further the good of Prudhoe as a whole, and merely serves to highlight what a frustrating and long-drawn-out process this has been.

Emotions are understandably running high, while reason is disintegrating.

Northumberland County Council must get its act together and decide on the plans one way or the other.

By Robin Gilson
Published: March 1, 2012


Have your say

Be the first to comment on this article!

Make your comment

Your name

Your Email

Your Town/City

Your comment

Quick links