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Will Northumberlands new housing fit for the future ??

Hi all

This is a planning permission that I have been following that is quite disturbing.


I have placed an objection to this planning application, but permission was passed by the North planning committee on 1st August. Reason given for this is the developer could not make the development financially viable without the changes.

“REDUCED AFFORDABLE HOUSING” The developer (Persimmon) has applied for reduced number of social housing and is offering less than the value of that reduction in housing on a 106 agreement so the value of the 106 will be built elsewhere.  This is often on the green belt as other land is too expensive for Social Housing.

“REMOVE 20% RENEWABLES REQUIREMENT” This removes any requirement for solar panels and solar water heating etc. to be built into the new housing.

“REMOVAL OF CONDITION 8 TO REMOVE NEED FOR CODE LEVEL 3″ Code level 3 covers what we call sustainable including, Water use, cycle storage, rated white goods, indoor drying area, materials and most importantly a reduction of 25% co2 energy use from a base line of a average house built in 2006.

The removal of Code level 3 and the Renewable s fly’s in the face of several County policy’s.

The Northumberland county Carbon Management Plan.
2.2 Our Low Carbon Vision
2.5 Housing Sector, low carbon vision
“Vision to 2011/2020 Improve the overall energy efficiency and sustainability of the Northumberland domestic housing stock.
Increase the number of operational domestic renewable devices.”
” The Northumberland Housing Strategy endorses this vision and objectives and also supports and acknowledges the cross cutting issues identified in the Regional Housing Strategy of:
Sustainable development and Climate Change;
Design quality;
Cost-effectiveness of housing delivery; and
Community cohesion and respect.”

And the County Sustainable Community Strategy

Also The North East Housing Strategy continues to support the national programme of action outlined in the Government’s Communities Plan – Sustainable Communities: Building for the future. Which has been quietly removed earlier this year after lobbying from the Housing developers.

In the Core stratergy core options document, Policy 38d is the statement “All new residential units will achieve minimum Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 from 2013 rising to code level 6 after 2016.”


“unless the developer can robustly justify why this is not technically or financially viable” as most of the land banks were purchased at top price due to the developers seeing that the “Good times” were going to roll on there may be more applications like the above.

The above permission has now been passed and will increase the risk of possible fuel poverty due to higher household energy costs.  This is an increase of 25% or more in future energy costs based on the base line of 2006 therefore the first year would already have extra costs for the house owner. By the year 2030 according to conservative estimates could be £1500 extra.( would you buy a car that had such extra % fuel costs?).

In conclusion
House holders will be at risk of fuel poverty and an increase in social in-equality.
The loss of “sell on” value for the householder.
The loss to the local business community of spending, conservative estimates (£1500) at 2030 of £357,000+ per year.
The increase of the county’s carbon footprint.
Loss of sustainability.
The loss of an educational example of a quality build that could have taken Northumberland and the developer forward.
The real danger of a rush by developers to “dumb down” developments making Northumberland a less attractive place to live.
The “stretching” of County, National and European Sustainability, Community Resilience, Climate change and Social policy.

Yes we need Housing but not at the future cost of householders, the environment and society.

So its profit for the few and long term risk for all!!!!

I am asking Transition Tynedale to support this campaign to increase the sustainability of the new housing stock via the Northumberland Core Strategy Preferred Options Consultation Document.

David Grundey

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AAAH!!! My bees have escaped!!!!

Warm weather can make bees swarm.

Get the kit on as we are going to put the swarm  into a new hive.

Bees in a box

I had already cut the swarm out of the hedge and put a box over so that the bees would climb up into the box.

Preparing the hive.

Shake the bees into the brood box

Putting it all together

Happy bees and bee keeper.

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Hexham Town Plan Visioning Event Results!

Hexham Town Plan Visioning Event Results!

It was great to hear so many people saying what they most valued about Hexham and sharing ideas about how we can become a more sustainable community.

There were getting on for a hundred people who gave up their Sunday afternoon to describe their vision for how they wanted Hexham to be in ten years time.

Here are the bullet points that the Economy Working Group presented to set the scene for the discussions.

How can Hexham change to:

  • become more self-sustaining, self-reliant and resilient
  • make the most of the Town’s existing strengths and resources
  • provide an environment to develop positive ways to adapt

The influence of Transition Tynedale was there in all the discussion groups and the feedback highlighted many specific ideas regarding transport, the built environment, arts and heritage. Detailed results will be published soon and the next phase will be concerned with the future health and welfare of our community.

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The Transition Companion

Hi all

newcover1-222x300Just got the new book. Its a follow on to the first book “Transition Handbook” (which was more about why the Transition movement came into being).

The Transition Companion has lots of examples and things like how different groups work and may be a good “companion” to the transition 2 film of which we have a copy circulating.

If any one else is reading then post a comment so we can share views.

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What is your vision for sustainable Hexham?

Speak out for the Transition Towns movement at Hexham Town Council Visioning Day on 24th June 2pm at Queens Hall.

Like it or not the Town Council is our link to Northumberland County Council and they collect and spend our Council Taxes. It really matters who our local and county councilors are and what they believe matters to you.

Please come along and bring your vision for Hexham to the debate! There will be workshops where you can discuss your concerns and argue for Hexham to become an even better place for our children and grandchildren. This is all about how we can take positive action now to prepare for the challenges ahead.

If we can generate a critical mass of people in Hexham who understand the need for change our Transition Movement could go whooshing up the agenda.

What is your concern for the future sustainability of Hexham?

We also need to be there listening so that we can adapt our activities to be realistic and appealing to the general public.

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How to post a comment

2012-06-18_07-14-331Its easy to post a comment and posting comments is what makes a blog dymanic and  interesting so USE the blog.

Just click on “Leave a comment” at the bottom of any post (circled in red on the picture).

If this is your first comment fill in your email and name (no need to fill in the website field). Type in your comment and select if you want to to be notified by email of any follow on posts or to receive emails for posts and comments. Then press “post comment”. If this is your first comment then it will have to be approved by a moderator and so will not appear for a while. Comments after your first one will appear immediately. (On your second post if you cannot type your comment then just highlight your email address and left click and the text entry prompt will appear.

At the bottom of the blog is an RSS feed icon if you wish to follow the blog using a news reader.

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Transition Free Press

This month the Transition Free Press, a new national newspaper, launched its preview edition. It’s a blueprint of how the paper will look, and the kinds of subjects we aim to cover every quarter – news with comment and context, features and reviews.

As well as viewing it online, there will be printed copies that will be available at various events, including the Transition Network Conference in September 2012. Plus you can order copies by post (see bottom of page).

“Where are we going?” asks the editorial. “We’re heading for the future. We are not afraid to share our views, ask awkward questions, laugh or explore paths other papers don’t go down in order to get there. What we want is to capture the real-life experiences of people who are discussing and doing Transition, learning to share skills and resources, starting up social enterprises, thinking hard about alternative ways of organising the way we do energy and economics.

Continue reading

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Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

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Front hanging baskets or is it a hanging rockery??

Its Hot for the hanging baskets as its a stone south facing wall.

As true rockery plants love the heat we are trying out these baskets that can be seen outside our house.

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