East Chevington Parish Council round-up

Calls have been made for the chicane to be removed. Picture from Google Street View.
Calls have been made for the chicane to be removed. Picture from Google Street View.

Calls have been made to remove a chicane on the outskirts of Hadston, with critics believing it does more harm than good.

At Monday night’s East Chevington Parish Council meeting, chairman Coun Paul Claridge said the traffic-calming measure along the B1330 between Red Row and Broomhill needs to go.

He told members: “I am concerned about the chicane. It is badly lit, it is dangerous and it is does no good at all.

“You can forget it’s there and you can’t see it. It has been damaged so many times.

“I have also seen cars slow down for it and then speed back up again and exceed the speed limit once they are through it.

“It needs to be removed and I think we need to press very hard for it to go.”

Coun Scott Dickinson agreed. He said: “In my view, it creates a game, because cars rush to get through it.

“It is too far back from the entrance to Hadston to create an impact and I think it should be removed and have the road put back to what it was. To me, it is a waste.”

Coun Dickinson also told members that speed-reduction signs in North Broomhill and Red Row have been successful. He added that further signs will be installed in Red Row.

He added that talks about creating a safe-crossing point along the A1068, between Hadston and Druridge Bay Country Park, are ongoing, with a slice of s106 cash allocated for the project.

The parish council wants to find out how much a piece of land is worth, before deciding on whether to sell it for a plan to expand employment.

The council has been contacted by a Gavin Dawson, who has recently acquired the former Shark Sports site in Broomhill.

The plot is currently being refurbished to accommodate local start-up and small-and-medium-sized businesses.

In a letter to the council, Mr Dawson, from Gateshead, says that two tenants are in situ to date and there is good interest from others.

His aim is to have around 10 to 14 businesses at the site upon completion, within the next three months.

And as part of his vision, Mr Dawson has said that he wants to purchase an adjoining piece of land, owned by the parish council, on Station Row.

In a letter to the council, he states: ‘The premises will increase business rates revenue to Northumberland County Council, secure/maintain and add further employment to the locality and retain and improve this property.

‘I understand the previous owners acquired additional land, approximately in 2008/09, and I wish to add further land to the site to assist with developing the site for employment use.

‘The land I am interested in acquiring would form phase two, which will increase the viability of the site and create further positive inward investment and job numbers.’

Councillors raised a few concerns, with Coun Fred Thurgood describing the potential acquisition as ‘premature’.

Coun Scott Dickinson said: “I am sure the parish council will support my view that when we can create local jobs and encourage people to set-up businesses, then we should support them.

“But what I am concerned about is that there are 14 units, two have been let, which leaves 12 to be let, so I think we should go back to him and say once a certain proportion are let and the demand is there, then we will look at selling it.

“We should also put a covenant on to say that it is used for X, Y or Z, to protect it from being used for something different.

“I also think we should find out how much that piece of land is worth and make some inquiries to get some more information before we take any further action.

“So it isn’t a yes, but it isn’t a no.”

A suggestion to relocate a proposed skate park which is part of draft plans for the new-look Hadston Community Park have been questioned, with one councillor fearing it will lead to increased vandalism.

Residents and youngsters have been consulted on plans for the leisure and recreation facility, which will incorporate the former Druridge Bay Middle School site, as well as the village’s existing community park.

The draft proposals set out a grand vision for the area, including new and refurbished equipment for people to use, an expanded children’s play area, skateboard facilities, wildlife habitats, tree planting, walking routes, a zip wire and car parking.

It is intended to retain the existing multi-use games area (MUGA), BMX track, football pitch and bandstand.

In the landscape masterplan, the skatepark is located in the middle of the site, but following a consultation event, Coun Scott Dickinson said that some people felt it should be moved to the back of the existing park.

But Coun Fred Thurgood said: “If it is relocated, it will end up being vandalised and misused because it will be in a remote location and people won’t be able to see it.”

Ticket prices for this year’s pantomime in Hadston will be reduced.

Members agreed that the entry fee for the 2017 show – Goldilocks and the Three Bears – should be £1.

Last year, tickets were £2 each and Coun Scott Dickinson questioned this at Monday’s meeting.

He said: “I was disappointed it was £2. I know it is not a lot of money, but if you have a family of four or five, it sharp mounts up.

“I think we get a better take up at £1 because it makes it more accessible.”

This year’s show is scheduled for Wednesday, December 20.