Welcome to the first entry under the News section of the website.

Since 1895 the Estate Committee have only been able to communicate matters of general interest to covenantors by letter or at meetings. Those days are gone.

At the AGM of 10th March 2015 the Estate Committee was re-elected on a very clear policy:

1. All applications to increase the density of housing on the estate by the sub-division of existing plots or otherwise will be considered on their merits and in particular whether approval would be detrimental to the character and amenity of the estate1.

2. The committee shall continue to regulate extensions to, or demolition and replacement of, existing properties on the estate by applying the Mandatory Criteria and the Discretionary Criteria.

1 That the majority covenantors have repeatedly and expressly stated that they are opposed to any appreciable increase in density of housing on the estate on the grounds that an increase in density of housing is likely to be detrimental to the character and amenity of the estate is a factor that will carry very considerable weight with the committee in determining such applications.

The election means that the property owners ( commonly referred to as “covenantors”) have determined that they wish to continue to control their own environment as opposed to ceding control to the Planning Department of Northumberland County Council.

This decision is hardly surprising. If the owners retain control of development they can maintain the estate as an area of low density housing and thereby maintain its unique character. There can be no misunderstanding here: density, that is the number of houses, is the factor that is determinative of the character of the estate. If the current density of housing on the estate remains at or close to its current level the character of the estate will remain the same. If the density increases to any appreciable degree that character will change.

There are 301 houses on the estate. For as long as the covenantors regulate the number of house on the state by electing successive estate committees to give effect to their wishes by adhering to the current policy that number will not significantly increase. Northumberland County Council would allow the number of properties to increase from 301 to 870. Such an increase would completely destroy the character of the estate.

Coincidental to maintaining the character of the estate is the effect of current policy on property values. Prospective purchasers will be reassured that they can buy in expectation that enjoyment of their new home is less likely to be subsequently detrimentally affected by the construction of properties nearby. Further, because the housing available at any time is limited existing house are likely to sell more readily and at greater value.

In future it is evident that extant houses will be renovated, extended or otherwise improved or demolished to be replaced by new houses. All such improvements to the extant housing stock can only serve to enhance the character and desirability as a place to live of the estate

In short, the Painshawfield Estate combines a great place to live with sound financial investment and the Estate Committee has never had its policies more concisely stated or so widely supported.

I am conscious that this is supposed to be a News column so forgive my digressions above as to policy.

The News is the re-election of the committee. We have a good mixture of experienced and new members. We now have open lines of communication. Anyone wanting to contact the committee may do so by contacting the Secretary or whichever committee member is holding the committee’s dedicated phone.

I would like to thank the entire committee for having undertaken their work so conscientiously and with such unfailing good humour over recent years. I have never worked with such an amusing, dedicated and civil group of people. I do not intend to thank any individual member by name: the work is a collective effort. It would however be remiss not to thank committee member Lyn Brown for taking the lead in setting up this website and covenantor Gary Ramsay of Offstone Publishing for creating and sponsoring it.

You will find on this website a selection of archives retrieved from storage in Cambridge. Do not even ask how they came to be there.

Statements issued by the Estate Committee as from 10/3/15 supersede all previous policies. The one exception is a policy introduced in 1939 which remains of considerable, if not immediate, importance. At time of national conflict covenanters do not require permission from the committee to build underground shelters to gain protection from enemy air attack. So, that’s one less thing to worry about.