HOM Response to Statement of Community Involvement 2015

Community involvement, public consultation and publicity are required components of the statutory planning system and it is recognised as being important that local people are involved in the decision making process and have sufficient opportunities to comment, support or object to planning applications.

The first Statement of Community involvement (SCI) was adopted by Middlesbrough Borough Council in 2005 to set down a degree of involvement that the community and other stakeholders can expect in the taking of decisions regarding planning proposals and future planning strategy.

Reasons for community involvement can be identified as an integral part of the planning process:

(a) Involvement leads to outcomes that better reflect the views and aspirations and meet the needs of the wider community, in all its diversity;

(b) Public involvement is valuable as a key element of a vibrant, open, and participatory democracy.

(c) Involvement improves the quality and efficiency of decisions by drawing on local knowledge, and minimising unnecessary and costly conflict

(d) Involvement educates all participants about the needs of communities, the business sector, and how he local government works; and,

(e) Involvement helps promote social cohesion by making real connections with communities and offering them a stake in decision making

Hands on Middlesbrough aims to support and promote Middlesbrough’s heritage and green spaces. The group formed in 2014, following concerns regarding the Acklam Hall housing & medical village development which arguably put heritage (above and below ground), a conservation area and habitat for wildlife at unnecessary risk, without appropriate care and provision.

We revealed a number of flaws in the consultation process when we conducted interviews with members of the local community and researched the methods of consultation and publicity utilised by the Council since 2009/10 when a preferred developer for the site was accepted.

Hands on Middlesbrough recognise that the SCI identifies a minimum consultation framework, which in most cases does not effectively consult the public in good time.

We welcome a review of the current SCI because it gives the local authority an opportunity to make positive changes, which will enable members of the public to get involved in the decision making process and we would suggest that the SCI document describes how community involvement will impact on the decision making process, and any potential outcomes.

Hands on Middlesbrough would like to offer our support for a review of this document and give recommendations about how we feel the current consultation process could be made more effective and inclusive.

ELECTED MEMBERS, COMMUNITY AND PARISH COUNCILS

Historically, it has always been elected members, community and parish councils who are identified as best placed to relay community concerns with regards to planning proposals. Community and Parish councils often use traditional methods to disseminate information; meetings, newsletters, word of mouth and emails to members. These forms of communication can be successful but they are rarely effective in reaching out to a wider audience beyond the community or parish council itself. A newsletter can be successful for reaching those who may not have internet access.

The fundamental flaw with this is that despite being regarded as the most effective way to consult the general public, community and parish councils are not representative of the diverse society in which we live. Therefore, they should not be given the sole responsibility of bridging the gap between members of the community and the local authority when consulting on planning proposals or discussing neighbourhood plans.

The community council, in some cases, can be a politically charged environment. It is not always a comfortable environment for those who find the jargon involved in planning difficult. A more relaxed, informal approach where people can view plans and ask questions is perhaps the way to reach out to members of the community.

Some Middlesbrough wards do not have an active community council who hold regular meetings, so it is unclear how people in these areas get involved in the planning process.

EARLY INVOLVMENT

The local community should be informed at an early stage through well publicised public meetings, drop in sessions, online communication, such as emails and social media and articles in the local press and media. It is also essential that there is an easily accessible public consultation section of the Middlesbrough Council Website, which links to planning proposals and the Search and Track facility for identifying new developments. We therefore welcome the use of more modern media techniques to make consultation easier and also as a means of communicating with a wider audience.

Planning notices give a planning application reference number and a contact, but there is often no description and they are difficult to read due to the small font size used. They are also written in jargon which is difficult to understand and excludes some members of the community.

The Love Middlesbrough magazine which goes out to 64,000 people every quarter would be an effective way of offering advice and support to people interested in getting involved in planning. It is recommended that this is used as a vehicle for communicating and consulting on major planning proposals.

Since the ward councillors are the first point of contact for a member of the community, it is vital that they are approachable and emails are responded to promptly. If an email is sent to a councillor regarding a development which is not in their ward, then they still need to pass on the email to the councillors who are responsible.

HERITAGE CHAMPION

Heritage Champion, English Heritage states:

The role of a Heritage Champion is to act as the elected representative championing the historic environment, working alongside the local conservation staff. Champions should provide authority and clarity about heritage issues, connecting the work of elected representatives with local planning authority officers.’ (English Heritage 2014).

If Middlesbrough Council still has a heritage champion, then they should be made aware of all developments which put heritage above or below ground at risk and should also be actively involved in consulting with relevant groups. The heritage champion should also be a first point of contact for the public to flag up any concerns they may have regarding heritage at risk.

Often, planning proposals can last a number of years. Therefore, more effort needs to be made to re-consult so as to keep the community informed. This exceeds the minimum consultation requirement but is essential in enabling social cohesion and confidence in the planning system.

One reason for a loss of confidence in the planning system is due to a lack of transparency. Some meetings regarding the sale of land for development take place without the public or press present. This creates feelings of mistrust towards those who are supposed to represent the community as some people feel they are excluded from the consultation process.

A way to regain that trust is by setting out the ways in which public views will be listened to and acted upon. The review of the consultation process is welcomed but once the public have been consulted it is not clear how these views will be taken into consideration when making planning decisions.

If a large majority of public opinion is against a particular development proposal how can the public be confident that their opinions will be listened to and acted upon?

Hands on Middlesbrough would like to be directly consulted on future planning proposals and will disseminate that information via social media and other means.

It is also a recommendation that Middlesbrough Borough Council puts together a diverse advisory board of proactive local people (including young people and hard-to-reach groups) and consults with them directly on a month by month basis.

Request for help with Cannon Street project

NEWPORT CHILDREN PLAYING ON CARPhotograph by Derek Smith, 1973

This May, Hands on Middlesbrough are organising an event for Local History Month to celebrate Cannon Street and to launch a digital archive, which will document the residents who lived on the infamous street.

The digital archive is an ongoing project which will be ran by local historians Ian Stubbs & Alison Brown, and will only be possible with the help and support from people who have photographs, stories and information we can use. It will be an interactive site and accessible to everyone.

In the future, we would also like to add the surrounding streets, which were a significant part of the Cannon Street community, but this is all dependent on raising the money to develop the project.

We are appealing for people to share information with us on the day and by email or facebook and give permission to scan their old photographs or to bring Cannon Street memorabilia to the event. There will also be the opportunity for ex-residents and their families to be interviewed to be part of a short film. Please contact us, if you would like to share your memories.

The event is due to take place at the Dorman Museum on Saturday 14th May 10.30am-4pm. There will be a screening of a short film and, thanks to BBC North East and Cumbria and North East Film Archive, we will also be screening recently digitised interviews with residents filmed during the demolition of Cannon Street (during the 1960s and 1970s).

A programme of the day’s events will be available at the end of March.

To get involved:

Please send feedback via this website

email- handsonmiddlesbroughfuture@gmail.com

Facebook-Cannon Street Revisited

Apple Picking Event 2015

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On a lovely sunny day in September 2015, Hands on Middlesbrough and Friends of Natures World hosted their annual Apple Picking Event. With support from Middlesbrough Borough Council, the former Natures World site was once again opened to the public and over 150 people came along to pick heritage varieties of apples, plums and pears from the Community Orchard.

a9a32The hundreds of organic apples picked (there were still hundreds left!) were donated to Mary Thompson Fund and Teesside Hospice. Below: Scarlet, Chair of HOM and Veronica from Mary Thompson Fund)

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Families were encouraged to make their own apple juice using the apple press and also created their own apples and hungry caterpillars at the art table.

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Thanks to the support of the families who turned up on the day it all helps try and secure a brighter future for the former Natures World site. It helps demonstrate that families regard Natures World as an asset to the community. The site is a haven for wildlife and a resource for food which can help a number of charities. This free event gave children the opportunity to pick their own food, learn about where it comes from and even take some of the apples home to bake crumbles with their parents.

The Natures World site has so much potential to benefit Middlesbrough residents.

Northern Echo Group aims to preserve closed tourist attraction

Cannon Street Revisited

NEWPORT CHILDREN PLAYING ON CAR

Photograph by Derek Smith

On Thursday 23rd July, Hands on Middlesbrough hosted Cannon Street Revisited. It was an evening to celebrate Cannon Street, a community lost but not forgotten.

Over 200 people turned out to see BBC interviews of Cannon Street residents in the 1960s and 1970s before their homes were demolished. Hands on Middlesbrough (with help from Memories of Middlesbrough) raised £300 in just a few days via social media to pay for it to be digitised by North East Film Archive.

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The event also included a screening of photographs and film “Last Days of Newport” by Derek Smith, Local History talk given by Ian Stubbs about the history of Cannon Street and “Middlesbrough 1968” a film by Alan Ross.

The Last Days of Newport-Derek Smith

Hands on Middlesbrough will be hosting a larger exhibition about Cannon Street next year. If you would like to be involved please contact handsonmiddlesbroughfuture@gmail.com

Hands on Middlesbrough Guide to Planning Applications

hands on ENVIROMENT

“Protect & Promote Middlesbrough’s Heritage, Woodland, Conservation Areas and Green Space For Future Generations

There are two types of planning applications that may be of interest to you. This could be a single house development such as an extension or a multi-house large scale development. The local authority will advise the application through a letter to nearby neighbours, possibly a poster attached to a lamp post as well as placing the application on the Council’s planning website. Objections will be accepted by the Council planning officers during a 21 day public consultation. A response can be made by direct e-mail, via the “comments” facility on the Council website or by letter to the planning officer.

If you are unhappy about the development proposal, or any aspect of it, you can make an objection to the council. Before making an objection you could discuss the aspect of the proposal you do not like with the planning officer and the grounds for your objection. It may be something that can be changed during the application process. If it does not then you have the right to object:

  • Put your objection in writing to the council’s planning department
  • Contact other people affected by the proposal and encourage them to write letters of objection.
  • Do not be tempted to organise a petition; it will not carry any weight and is a waste of time. Also avoid using a ‘standard’ letter. Objectors should use their own words and write, type or word process their letters themselves. Objections will not carry the same weight if they are seen to have been written or produced in a standardised form.
  • Contact your local Ward councillors and Parish councillors and ask them to support you. They have access to planning expertise to advise you. Meet them on site and put forward your grounds of objection.
  • Submit your objections within the 21 day time scale. It is possible to request an extension.
  • View the officer’s report to the planning committee, it usually becomes available three working days before the Committee meeting and will be available on the Council’s planning website.
  • On the day of the planning committee meeting you may be allowed to speak at the meeting to address the Committee members.

It is important that you object on planning grounds only. Objection on the grounds of devaluation of neighbouring properties, personal issues with the applicant, disturbance during the building work, these are not planning issues.

For certain large scale developments it may be beneficial to start a local campaign group to fight the application. It is essential to involve the ward and Parish councillors in such a campaign.

The planning committee will usually consider the application for approval or refusal within 8 weeks for small scale applications and 13 weeks for large scale applications. Sometimes these timescales can be extended with the agreement between the council and the developer if there are some outstanding contentious details.

Not all decisions are made by the planning committee. Where no objections are received or are insufficient in number (less than five) or considered spurious a delegated decision can be made by the chief planning officer. However an objection from a Ward Councillor will ensure the application will be decided by the planning committee.

Planning Considerations

  • Over development.
  • Conflict with the character of the area.
  • Loss of privacy by overlooking.
  • Substantial damage to the amenities of residents caused by noise, disturbance, smell or loss of light.
  • Loss of community green space.
  • Threat to wildlife and the biodiversity of the area.
  • The visual impact of a development – what it will be like to look at. Effect on the character of the area.
  • Potential highway congestion including the need for adequate parking within the development.
  • There may be precedents set by previous planning decisions refusing permission for applications of a similar nature.
  • Change of use of a property.
  • Inappropriate design or materials

There are number of local authority policies such as the Local Plan and central Government policies such as the National Planning Policies Framework that the planning officers are obliged to comply with. Also some small scale developments, known as ‘permitted development’ receive automatic planning permission. Contact the planning office if in doubt.

Conditions applied to applications

You may agree with the application but disagree with just some of its aspects. In this case, when objecting to those aspects, you could ask for conditions to be attached to the approval for planning permission. Objecting to a planning application and asking for conditions to be added is known as making a representation rather than an objection.

The Appeal Process

If the council approves a planning application you have no right to appeal the decision. However, if a large scale development application seriously breaches a community amenity it is possible before a council decision is made to request the Secretary of State to make a ‘call-in’, it is usual to request the local MP to make this request. If planning permission is refused by the council, or conditions are imposed which the applicant considers are unacceptable then the applicant has six months to appeal to the Secretary of State. An independent Planning Inspector is appointed to listen to both sides of the case and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State who will then make the final decision. Appeals can be heard in three ways:-

  1. Written representation – This involves the exchange of written correspondence by all parties and the opportunity to comment on each other’s case. The inspector will also visit the site.
  2. Informal Hearing – Both parties to present their case to the Inspector in person in a relaxed and informal setting. The hearing usually takes the form of a round table discussion, followed by a site visit.
  3. Public Inquiry – This follows a clear set of procedures and allows all interested parties to give evidence and cross-examine the evidence of others in a formal and courtroom-like setting. The Inspector will make a site visit and may either issue a decision letter or report to the Secretary of State for final decision.

At any Inquiry the local authority will seek to defend the decision that is being appealed against. The local community does have an important role to play. If you objected to the application you will be invited to support the local authority either in writing to the Inspector or by addressing the Hearing or Public Inquiry.

If you wish either to object or to support the applicant you can put your view in writing or ask to attend the inquiry and give evidence. If you do speak you are likely to be questioned about your evidence, but the Inquiry is not intended to be intimidating. Just state your case simply and clearly.

There is now a “fast track” appeal procedure for “householder” applications. The Inspector will only view any letters received by the Council and possibly an unaccompanied site visit to come to a decision.

Benefits of development

Approved large scale developments place a requirement on the developer to provide sums of money to the impacted community through a section 106 obligation. It is essential for the community when considering and even objecting to a development that use of this money should be taken into account at the very beginning. A list of requirements (heads of terms) should be presented to the council, usually via a ward councillor. A legal agreement is then drawn up between the council and the land owner (usually the developer) to include the finally agreed heads of terms for eventual benefit to the community. It is essential the community monitor the use of these monies to ensure they are used appropriately.

To check out the latest online planning applications in Nunthorp

Google – ‘Planning applications, Middlesbrough Council’; Click on ‘Advanced’;  Click on ‘Parish’;  select ‘Nunthorpe Parish Council’ ;  scroll down and click on ‘Search’: click on application title.

 

Plan to Sell Off Rest Garden Dedicated to Founder of Open Spaces Association

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William Henry Thomas (founder of the Middlesbrough District and Betterment and Open Spaces Association) began his career as a manager stationer in 1881 and by 1911 he was the Managing Director of Jordison and Co, whose building adjoined what is now The House of Blah Blah and Teesside Archives.

WBanksRestGard10401WBanksRestGard20402

William Henry Thomas specialised in archaeology, botany and philosophy and was also linked with recruitment during the First World War. “A Lover of the Good, the True & The beautiful” his memorial plaque and monument was revealed on 2nd October 1934 at a public celebration. The Mayor attended and it was said that the rest garden was for the purpose of “beautifying the brick pond on the Whinney Banks side of Acklam-road.” The original brochure from the opening contains a covenant between the Corporation of Middlesbrough and the donors which states that the monument shall not be moved or obstructed in any way and that “the Corporation shall at all times keep the said open space as a garden and shrubbery.”

On 26th January 2015, it was decided by Middlesbrough Borough Council Executive Sub-Committee for Property that the rest garden on Acklam Road was to be sold off for commercial development. A supermarket chain have expressed interest in the site, but no formal planning application has been made.

The minutes from the meeting show that the sale of the land “will result in the disposal of surplus property in return for the capital receipt to the Council and assist in the regeneration and enhancement of the local area”.

Taken from the minutes from the meeting on the 26th January:

ORDERED

1.    That the sale of the land to the preferred developer at the cost outlined within the report be approved by Executive Sub Committee for Property;

2.    That an update on the progress be brought back to a future Executive Sub Committee for Property Panel; and

3.    That if the sale of the land did not proceed in accordance with the above recommendation, the subsequent decision on how to proceed with the disposal, in consultation with the Executive Director, Economic Development and Communities be delegated to the Executive Director, Commercial and Corporate Services.

If a planning application is made, the public will have 21 days to object. This can be done through the council website “search & track”.

Hands on Middlesbrough have applied to Historic England to list the William Henry Thomas memorial and it is currently going through an initial assessment.

Planning process – planning reasons for considering an objection

 

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When making comments on any planning application, all reasons you give must be planning reasons. So as to assist with your comments I have put together a tick list of valid planning reasons for objecting to any planning application:

Site considerations

  • over development
  • insufficient garden or amenity land
  • lack of private space
  • excessive bulk or scale
  • introducing unnatural features
  • spoiling natural or existing contours
  • incompatible with the design of existing buildings
  • loss of important trees, hedge or other vegetation
  • threatening a public right of way
  • insufficient parking spaces
  • failure to meet council’s access and on-site turning standards
  • loss of important wildlife habitats
  • harm to rare plants or animals
  • destroying traditional field patterns
  • loss of high-quality agricultural land
  • public sewers inadequate
  • risk of flooding or creation of flood risk
  • threat to health of occupants through previous contamination

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Planning Policy

  • conflict with LDF Core Strategy or extant Local Plan policies
  • contrary to government planning policy guidance
  • not complying with council’s informal policy guidance
  • prejudice comprehensive development of an area
  • exceptional personal circumstances

Special Designation

  • loss of important Tree Preservation Order trees [n.b. most trees in a Conservation Area are automatically subject to TPO’s
  • ‘inappropriate development’ in Green Belt
  • harm to landscape of National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty / National Scenic Area
  • threat to wildlife or geological features of Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • conflict with character of Conservation area
  • damage to historic or architectural value of listed building
  • harmful to the setting of Listed Building
  • destroying archaeological remains or monuments

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Planning history

  • losing important social beneficial uses
  • reducing housing accommodation in areas of housing shortage
  • other applications refused and no change in circumstances
  • contrary to inspector’s views in previous appeal decision
  • incompatible with existing planning permission

Neighbours

  • overlooking adjoining properties
  • overshadowing
  • blocking natural daylight
  • generating noise, disturbance, smells, pollution
  • unsociable hours of operation

Surrounding Area

  • dominating nearby buildings
  • conflict with the pattern of development
  • poor relationship with adjoining buildings
  • visually damaging in the landscape or in the setting
  • conflict with the character of the area
  • environmental damage caused by vehicles
  • inconvenience for pedestrians
  • road system is inadequate
  • prejudice highway safety
  • loss of open spaces
  • losing historic street pattern
  • adverse affect on rural economy
  • adverse effect on economy or businesses
  • loss of employment or traditional industries
  • threat to viability and vitality of town centre
  • creating imbalance between jobs and homes
  • failure to meet housing needs
  • better alternative sites available

Love Nature's World Celebration

sarah dennis 7 james sav hopper

In a recent meeting, Middlesbrough Council Executive Sub Committee for Property decided that Nature’s World should continue to be a base for green projects. Partner organisations and community groups are likely to be based onsite, and Friends of Nature’s World have been granted continued access to maintain the site, and host occasional community events.

This is a small victory for Friends of Nature’s World because it means that new housing development is not planned, at least not in the short-term. This gives the group time to build on public support and hopefully ensure that there is a bright future for Nature’s World.

On Saturday 28th March 2015, Friends & Supporters of Hands on Middlesbrough and Friends of Nature’s World gathered at Nature’s World to celebrate.

Even in the pouring rain (again!) over 40 people turned out to demonstrate their support and volunteer their time to help maintain the site for as long as it takes…

There was live music in the Hydroponicum from Sara Dennis, Marie Marx and James Sav Hopper, while kids decorated wooden hearts with messages; memories of Nature’s World and what Green Space means to them. The hearts were then fixed to a nearby tree as a constant reminder of what places like Nature’s World mean to children.

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After tea and homemade cakes, a variety of bulbs were planted in containers to flower in the summer and families were taken on a tour of the site by botanist Anne Press, who was one of Nature’s World founding members. Anne informed the group of rare plants that could be found on site and showed them the forest garden, which is now one of the oldest in the UK.

 

It is hoped that Nature’s World will continue to benefit the local community, families from surrounding boroughs and future generations for many years to come.

“Housing Remains Long-Term Option” Gazette Article

 

 

 

Middlesbrough Planning Applications

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Middlesbrough Council has a public consultation process on planning applications submitted by householders and developers. The consultation allows the submission of comments or objections over a 21 day period commencing from the date the planning officer validates the application. Nearby neighbours are sent letters through the post advising them of the consultation. The application is also displayed on the Council planning website. Parish Councils and Community Councils are automatically sent a copy the applications via post or the Internet e-consult arrangement. Regardless of any delays in the post or in placing the application on the website the consultation is still a 21 day period from the date of validation.

If you are opposed to an application or any aspect of it, you can make an objection to Middlesbrough Council. Before making an objection it is advisable to discuss the application with the Council planning officer to discuss your grounds for objection. It may be something that can be changed during the application process. If this is not possible (usually not) then you have the right to submit your objection:

  • Submit your objection in writing or submit it electronically via the Council planning website to the Council’s planning department.
  • Contact other people affected by the proposal and encourage them to write letters of objection. This is more effective than a petition – even a petition with 1,000 names will only count as one objection.
  • Contact your local Ward Councillors and ask them to support you. Meet the Ward Councillors on site and put forward your grounds of objection. Speak with or write to the Parish Council or Community Council and put forward your objection for their support.
  • After the public consultation is finished the Planning officer will prepare a report to the Planning Committee advising their recommendation on either refusal or approval of the application based on existing planning policies and the input from objectors. This report is usually available for viewing on the Council planning website ten days before the Planning Committee meeting.

If you wish to speak at the Planning Committee meeting you can submit a request via the Planning Committee coordinator.

It is important that you object only on planning grounds. Objection on the grounds of devaluation of property, effects on a view or disturbance during the building work are not planning issues.

Planning Considerations

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  • Substantial damage to the amenities of residents caused by noise, disturbance, smell or loss of light.
  • The visual impact of a development – what it will be like to look at, loss of significant natural view (e.g. Roseberry Topping), Highway traffic flow and safety including the need for effective parking.
  • Any contravention of the approved policies of the Local Authority and central Government policies as set out in a wide range of Government circulars and planning policy framework/guidance notes.
  • Precedents set by decisions already taken, granting permission to applications of a similar nature elsewhere in the area (cumulative effect).
  • The existing use of the site, or any previous planning permission already granted for the site.
  • Design, materials, amenity space of the scheme etc. although the degree of control in these areas is restricted.

Planning Conditions applied to approved applications

You may agree with the application but disagree with just some of its aspects. In this case, when responding to those aspects you could ask for planning conditions to be attached to the approval for planning permission. Not necessarily objecting to a planning application but asking for any of the standard planning conditions (discuss with the Planning Officer) to be applied is known as making a representation.

The Appeal Process

There is no right of appeal by the public on a decision if the council approves a planning application with which you disagree. It is essential you must object during the 21 day consultation period. If planning permission is refused by the Planning Committee or conditions are imposed which the applicant considers are unacceptable, then the applicant has six months to appeal to the Secretary of State.

An independent Planning Inspector is then appointed to listen to both sides of the case and will either make a decision or provide a recommendation to the Secretary of State who, in some cases, will make the final decision. Appeals can be heard in three ways:

  1. Written representation – This involves the exchange of written correspondence by all parties and the opportunity to comment on each other’s case. The inspector will visit the site and usually makes a decision relatively quickly.
  2. Informal Hearing – This allows both parties to present their case to the Inspector in person, in a relaxed and informal setting.

The hearing usually takes the form of a round table discussion, followed by a site visit. A decision letter will then be issued. This usually takes a few months to complete.

  1. Public Inquiry – This follows a clear set of procedures and allows all interested parties to give evidence and cross-examine the evidence of others in a formal and “courtroom “- like setting. The Inspector will make a site visit and may either issue a decision letter or report to the Secretary of State for final decision.

At any Inquiry the local authority will seek to defend their decision that is being appealed against. The local community does have an important role to play. If you initially objected to the application you will be invited to support the local authority either in writing to the Inspector or by addressing the Hearing or Public Inquiry. This process could take a considerable number of months to complete.

If you wish either to object or to support the applicant you can put your view in writing to the Inspector and ask to attend the inquiry to give evidence. If you do speak you are likely to be questioned about your evidence, but the Inquiry is not intended to be intimidating. You would be required to just state your case simply and clearly.

Checking planning applications on the Middlesbrough Council website

From your computer enter the following weblink into your Internet browser bar http://www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/?articleid=2276

This will bring you to the Council planning ‘Search and Track’ page. Go down to the ‘Parish’ box, click on the arrow and select your Parish from the pull-down menu. Click on the ‘Search’ button. The new page will display planning applications for that particular Parish going back to the start of the computerised planning application process. There are 20 applications per page, click ‘Next’ to view previous pages.

To examine the milestone dates (consultation period and expected date for the Planning Committee meeting) and documents of a particular application click on the ‘Reference’ number. If you wish to contact the relevant planning officer for further information click on the ‘Officer’ button for the telephone number and e-mail address.

This page also allows you to comment or submit an objection electronically on the application, click on ‘Comment on this application’ and complete the electronic form.

HOME- Cannon Street on Film

Cannon Street

“Don’t build factories. This land belongs to us” (Mr Gallagher)

Hands on Middlesbrough have been working with students from Teesside University to raise £300 in just 2 weeks.

They hope to fund digitising BBC archive footage of Cannon Street. Cannon Street was one of Middlesbrough’s strongest communities, stretching from Newport Bridge to Boundary Road. The area was dominated by heavy industry and residents lived in cramped unsanitary conditions. Residents wanted new housing, but they wanted it to be built on Cannon Street, or their homes modernized. Instead they were displaced into housing estates elsewhere.

The interviews with residents from the 1960s and 1970s show how the clearance of Cannon Street and demolition of homes led to opposition within the local community.

The local Priest from the nearby Church of St Columba, talks about the “loneliness” and “boredom” experienced by people unable to adjust to life without their friends and neighbours. He states that “progress has a price” and argues that the residents are “pawns in a game”.

Home is about so much more than bricks and mortar and the archive footage shows how strongly residents felt about losing not just their homes, but their community.

Gone are the days of front doors left open, a shiny front step and kids playing in the street. This is not the Middlesbrough we know today. Yet the Cannon Street film footage is as relevant as it ever was.

Communities may be strong but can be broken as easily as homes are demolished. Buildings are easily built up again, our urban landscape alters over the years and yet community spirit is not so easy to rebuild.

Hands on Middlesbrough and the students working on the Junk to Funk Festival, hope that by raising the money to show this publicly at the end of May.

For more INFO or to DONATE please check out the Junk to Funk website http://junktofunk.co.uk/