Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Good luck

Just a post to wish Councillors Alan Bell and Audrey Willis the best of luck in tomorrows elections standing as Independent candidates.
  • Alan proposed the motion to reject the planning application in the Committee Hearing and led the ensuing debate with your best interests firmly at heart.
  • Audrey has campaigned tirelessly against the application and addressed the Committee Hearing also.
It is also important to thank your Local Parish Council who stood firmly against the application, your Local MP Kevan Jones and your local Labour Party.

Alan Bell
Audrey Willis

Tuesday, 30 April 2013


The Durham County Council hereby give notice in pursuance of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) that planning permission has been REFUSED for the carrying out of the development referred to in Part 1 hereof in accordance with the application and plans submitted for the following reasons:
1. In the opinion of the Local Planning Authority the application has not demonstrated the proposals represent the 'very special circumstances' necessary to justify departure from the Green Belt policies in the Local Plan and the advice set out in the NPPF. The proposals are therefore contrary to Policies NE2, NE3, NE4 and NE6 of the Chester-le-Street District Local Plan 2003 (saved 2009).

2. Based upon the available evidence the Local Planning Authority do not consider the application has demonstrated to an acceptable degree the perceived harm arising from the safety implications of the proposals will not undermine the level of residential amenity local residents could reasonably expect to enjoy contrary to the general intent of Policies IN5 and IN10 of the Chester-le-Street District Local Plan 2003 (saved 2009).

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Application refused

The planning application has today been refused by the Planning Committee.
  • The application was not deemed to be a "very special circumstance" to warrant incursion into the greenbelt.
  • There was considered to be too much risk to the surrounding amenity
Congratulations to all involved and well done everyone.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Hearing tomorrow

Just a reminder it is the hearing tomorrow at the Civic Center, Chester-le-Street, Council Chambers 2 o'clock just turn up no notice is required. It shouldn't take too long and hopefully we can all get on with our lives afterwards.

This article appeared in the Echo today, the link is below in case you didn't catch it.

Link to article

MP Kevan Jones with left to right; David Thompson, Rita Carr and Guy Starkey, at the Par Petroleum depot, Lumley New Road, Woodstone Village.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Hearing Date

The Committee Hearing date has been set for 25th April 2013 - 14:00 at Chester-le-Street Council Chambers.

If you lodged an objection you should have received details, if not then please contact the Planning Team and make sure your  Objection has been lodged.


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Committee hearing 25th April 2013

Just a quick note to say the committee hearing will be at 14:00 on Thursday 25th April 2013 - next Thursday.
The venue I believe is Chester-le-street Council Offices.
If you objected you will get notification of this, if not then please contact the planning Dept.
We need your support and a show of strength on the day.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Update - further amendment

Further to the amended application the Planning Officer has received a response following a request for further clarification around operating times.

It has been clarified that the original detail define the hours of opening of the facility as 08:00 – 18:00 Monday – Friday, and 09:00 – 12:00..... This in fact relates to the Office hours, not the hours of vehicular operation. The applicant currently operates the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and seeks to continue this operation on the proposed extended site.

The Planning Office wish to hear any additional comments you may have about this by the 21st March 2013. Please take the opportunity to draw your own conclusions and make a comment.

Please note that if you respond through the web portal that you should put your name and address details on there to ensure you receive a reply in the post, invites to the hearing etc.

Also the Planning Dept would like you to know that they are available to talk to anyone about this should you wish to seek clarification about the application or the planning process.

In our opinion we have a problem here as soon as we have pressed the issue about operating out of hours there has been a revision made which appears to accommodate the applicantion. I do not know what is worse, the fact that this can happen in the first place or the fact that the Company now wish to operate 24/7 – 7 days per week? We all know that they currently do not do that, yeah they sometimes stay open for stragglers but just extended hours - normally if they are open it is no later than 7pm. 

Remember the main issues:
Incursion into the greenbelt – for negligible economic impact and development.
Risk – which PAR now wish to increase even more by operating 24/7, increased chance of explosions, increased impact on the highway, etc
Drainage – the Lumley New Road struggles to cope now never mind after expanding the site. Will the Council pay for upgrading the drainage?
Screening – everything that has been proposed will NOT screen the site. Unless they are going to stick the leaves back on in winter!
Light pollution – it will be like living next door to a non league football ground, except their lights will switch off after 9:30.#

You may have your own slant on this or specific point of view, if so then do not keep it to yourself time is running out.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Diary + Pencil

Hi All
The Objections are in but if you haven't expressed your opinion please continue to do so, everyting received must be considered up to any Committee Hearing.
With that in mind please pencil in 28th Feb and 28th March 2013 as a possible hearing dates. However, the 28th March seems to be the more likely at this time.
Thank  You

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Green belt campaigners win fight against weather mast

Campaigners are celebrating after plans for a 50-metre meteorological mast on green belt land were rejected.


Just a reminder that the Planning Dept are looking for objections by 1st Feb. Unreasonable I know, but it is important should you feel that the revised plans do not address your original concerns that you let Steve France know. Remember nobody is going to do this for us!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Here first?

-          The site at Lumley Sixth Pit Industrial Estate was originally chosen due to its good transport links close to the A1 and A19, its location away from urban areas (i.e. not in close proximity to residential properties)…………it is also important to note that the majority of stakeholders who have expressed concerns relating to the proposed development reside within this later residential development

The above text is an extract from the revised plan. Most of the Objections are from the Estate which was not there when Par set up their operation, this is an important point it insists. However, apart from our views not being important there is also legal precedence.

I would like to bring to your attention to two landmark cases heard at the Court of Appeal of England and Wales on nuisance and negligence (and are therefore relevant to this application) - Sturges v Bridgeman (1879) and more recently Miller v Jackson (1977) - as they decided that what constitutes reasonable use of ones property depends on the character of the locality and that it is not a defence to simply claim "I was here first".

Two days to go

Saturday, 26 January 2013

We need you to object again

It’s been approximately 9 months since Par Petroleum submitted their planning application to develop the Green Belt opposite and expand their Fuel storage and distribution site at the north entrance to the Chesters Wood Estate. This application resulted in nearly 300 people taking the time to personally object to these plans which slowed down the planning process somewhat. These objections contained many valid and strong reasons why this development should not be allowed to go ahead. A number of groups and organisations also objected to these plans including our local MP Kevan Jones, Local Councillor Audrey Willis, the Parish Council and the Local Labour Party group.

Since then Par Petroleum have been working closely with Durham County Council Planning team and they have now produced another application which apparently addresses all of the concerns of the ‘objectors’ – they have simply reduced the size of the extension. Par Petroleum, in their application also describe the need to expand as it will create an additional 7 jobs (there is no mention of how this development may affect people who run their own business from home who live on the estate) and interestingly now emphasise that as the site opened in 1991 and the estate wasn’t built until 2001 that ‘they were here first’ so our concerns are irrelevant.

However our original views still stand:

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Revised plans published

Direct link to the revised plans

OK heads up, revised plans have been submitted to the planning team. If you commented on the original planning application you will receive a letter in the post in the next few days.
Don't forget to follow the blog and keep yourself up to date, we will issue our response shortly and attempt to ensure all those representing you are informed.