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Old March 30th, 2011, 11:22 AM   #61
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Big plans for Kielder as trust launched
by Tony Henderson, The Journal, March 30th 2011



A NEW trust has been set up to manage one of the North East’s prime rural areas, it was announced yesterday.

The Kielder Partnership has officially become a registered charity and company limited by guarantee, known as Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust (KWFPDT).

The new body aims to open up access to additional funds to further develop the popular attraction in Northumberland.

It succeeds Kielder Partnership which brought together bodies from the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The main objectives of the new charity include sustainable development for public benefit, developing leisure activities in the interests of social welfare, involving the public in the natural environment and promoting the creation of works of art.

Trust director Elisabeth Rowark said last night: “Kielder Partnership worked hard to benefit the community from developments at the park and over the last four years delivered significant capital investment.”


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Old April 7th, 2011, 10:00 AM   #62
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Dismay at wind farm approval
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, April 7th 2011


CONTROVERSIAL plans for a wind farm in the Northumberland countryside have been approved, to the dismay of residents.

The planning application from Inifinis (Novera) for six turbines at Wingates, near Rothbury, has been approved by Northumberland County Council.

Objectors were last night angered by the decision, claiming local opposition had been overriden by national policy, and feared the approval may open the floodgates for other schemes.

The application was submitted to the now defunct Alnwick District Council in 2008. It has been opposed since then by residents, who formed the Wingates not Wind Farms action group.

A total of 75 letters of objection were submitted by local people, along with a petition of 141 signatures. Opposition also came in from four parish councils – Brinkburn and Hesleyhurst, Longhorsley, Netherwitton, and Nunnykirk.


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Old April 25th, 2011, 10:09 AM   #63
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Halton Lea Gate villagers scent third victory in opencast mine row
by Paul Tully, The Journal, April 25th 2011


A CONTROVERSIAL opencast mining plan at a remote Northumberland village should be rejected, say county planners.

The proposal to dig high-grade coal from farmland at isolated Halton Lea Gate, on the Cumbrian border, has attracted major protests for the third time in 12 years.

Now villagers hope to celebrate a hat-trick of victories when decision-makers at County Hall meet on May 3.

Northumberland County Council’s Planning and Environment Committee will be told the impact on the sensitive environment outweighs the potential benefits of digging 140,000 tonnes of coal from the 75-acre site.

The proposal is a resubmission of an original rejected plan from HM Project Developments of Houghton-le-Spring, who were told they had to produce an ecological impact survey.

HMPD boss Paul Murphy commissioned the survey – but the county planners’ report says: “Little attempt has been made by the applicant to address the reasons for refusal and concerns raised in the previous committee report.


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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:04 PM   #64
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Hadrian's Wall scheme set to open this weekend
by Tony Henderson, The Journal, April 26th 2011


Visitors at Housesteads Fort on Hadrian's Wall

A SCHEME that aims to boost environmentally-friendly tourism around Hadrian's Wall will open this weekend.

The Hadrian’s Wall passport scheme will start on May 1, with passport stamps available at sites along the 84-mile Hadrian’s Wall National Trail route until October 31.

This year an extra stamp is available from Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle where a new Roman Frontier gallery will open on June 25.

A total of 10,600 people walked the Wall trail end to end last year, taking an average of seven days to complete it. Thousands more people took shorter walks around the Roman sites and on the specially planned circular routes.

Nigel Mills, access director for Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd, said: “The summer passport is a fun way for walkers to record their journey as they go and gives them a lasting record to take home. But it also has a serious side as part of the conservation of the archaeology and landscape around Hadrian’s Wall.

“Many areas of the trail are archaeologically important. Earthworks and masonry may be visible but equally they may lie buried underneath the path.

“So as part of our Every Footstep Counts code we encourage people to walk during the drier summer months when the ground surface is generally stronger, we ask walkers not to walk on the Wall itself and to walk side-by-side rather than in single file to spread the load.


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Old April 27th, 2011, 10:37 AM   #65
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Alarm at discussion on Woodhorn Church covenants
by David Black, The Journal, April 27th 2011



CAMPAIGNERS fighting to retain an ancient Northumberland church have reacted with alarm to a bid to remove legal restrictions that were hampering its potential sale.

Six months ago the county council put the 11th-Century Woodhorn Church near Ashington on the market in a bid to find a new and sustainable use for the vacant, Grade I-listed building.

So far no buyer has been found, and local campaigners claim this is mainly because of restrictive covenants governing the church’s future use.

Now the council has admitted it is in discussions with the Church Commissioners on potential ways of getting round the covenants and securing a sale of the building. Last year’s decision to market the former Saxon church – said to be the oldest in Northumberland – was branded “heritage vandalism” by local campaigners who want to keep it as a public asset.


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Old May 2nd, 2011, 12:09 PM   #66
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Fire authority report spells out merger issues
by David Black, The Journal, May 2nd 2011


CREATING a single fire and rescue authority for Northumberland and Cumbria will lead to job losses and spark widespread opposition, a new report warns.

Merging the two counties’ fire services would result in redundancies, and is likely to face “high levels” of resistance from firefighters and the public, it claims.

A full merger is the most radical of five options identified by a three-month study into how the two brigades could collaborate and share management.

They are set out in a report by Cumbria’s chief fire officer, Dominic Harrison, which will be considered by Northumberland county councillors next week.

The study was approved in January by both county councils in an attempt to assess whether a merger could save money while also improving fire and rescue services across England’s most northerly counties.

Yesterday Coun Peter Jackson, leader of the opposition Conservative and Independent group on Northumberland County Council, said: “I think we have wasted three months and a lot of time and effort on this. The report is lacking in detail and there is no business case or costs for the five options.

“To have a Northumberland brigade managed from 100 miles away is completely nonsensical. There are major problems with council tax and it seems to me that a full blown merger with Cumbria is off the table.’”


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Old May 9th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #67
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Window restored to pride of place at Woodhorn Church
by Rob Pattinson, The Journal, May 9th 2011



A HISTORIC church has got its stained glass window back - two years after it was burned out by vandals.

The Archdeacon of Lindisfarne, Peter Robinson, attended yesterday’s service at Grade I-listed Woodhorn Church, between Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and Ashington, Northumberland, to rededicate the window, which was destroyed by a car fire below it in September 2009.

Yesterday a congregation of more than 70 gathered at the 11th century chapel to celebrate the replacement window, depicting a shepherd from Biblical tales.

Many of those at the service held personal attachments to the church after being christened or married there.

Archdeacon Robinson told the gathering the image of the shepherd should serve as a reminder for the place the church has in guiding its members.

The unveiling came against the backdrop of an uncertain future for the former church, which had been targeted by vandals on four occasions before the fire.


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Old May 11th, 2011, 11:02 AM   #68
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Northumberland County Council invests in green programme
by David Black, The Journal, May 11th 2011


MORE than 500 homes and community buildings in Northumberland are set to go green in a multi-million pound programme aimed at reducing the county's carbon footprint and cutting energy costs.

Solar panels are to be fitted to the roofs of 400 council-owned houses and about 130 schools and other public buildings in a £7m investment by the county council in renewable energy generation. The aim of the project is to use the power of the sun to provide cheap electricity for hundreds of council tenants, school staff and pupils and users of community buildings.

Excess energy produced by the thousands of photovoltaic panels will be sold to the national grid to give the council a return on its investment – and help cut costs and protect jobs and services.

The drive is part of a commitment by the Liberal Democrat-led unitary authority to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% over five years.

This week the council’s executive agreed in private session to give the programme the green light, and sanction the £7m borrowing required to pay for it.


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Old May 14th, 2011, 11:22 AM   #69
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Beadnell harbour homes plans thrown out
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, May 14th 2011



PLANS to build homes beside a picturesque Northumberland harbour have been thrown out.

An application by Beadnell Fishermen’s Society for three homes in the village were rejected by Northumberland County Council.

The 18th-Century harbour was gifted to local fishing families by Sir John Craster in 1951 and is within an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The fishermen were seeking to build houses on land beside the harbour in order to generate the money they need to fund the upkeep of the structure, and dredging.

They proposed three homes at The Haven and one at White Rock, although one of the three was later removed from the scheme.

However, the plans angered residents, who formed petitions signed by 2,662 people and set up the Save Beadnell Association, and Beadnell Parish Council. Forty-six letters of objection were sent to the county council in relation to the White Rock scheme, and 57 on the proposals for The Haven.


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Old May 28th, 2011, 12:06 PM   #70
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Crack found in Wark Bridge support
by Paul Tully, The Journal, May 28th 2011


Work starts on strengthening Wark Bridge

MAJOR “critical” damage has been found on a support under a historic village bridge, meaning repairs will be delayed for up to three months.

The 130-year-old Wark Bridge in Northumberland is undergoing a £2.1m rebuild in four phases lasting to 2017.

But four months into the first phase engineers have discovered a severely-cracked stone support demanding urgent attention.

It means the bridge will not be reopened to traffic in July, as expected – and it could be October before vehicles are allowed across it again while awaiting phase two in 2013.

Villagers will be forced to continue with an 11-mile detour, although pedestrians can still cross.

Coun Edward Heslop, who led the Save Wark Bridge campaign last year and secured local authority funding, said: “The damage has been revealed with the taking down of parts of the bridge during the first phase of work.

“We knew that something like this could happen and we have found a very large crack across the middle of a stone support.


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Old May 30th, 2011, 10:13 AM   #71
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B6343 named worst road in country for potholes
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, May 30th 2011


Coun Glen Sanderson in the B6343 Morpeth to Cambo road

A ROAD in Northumberland has been declared the worst in the country for potholes.

The B6343, which runs from Morpeth to the B6342 at Cambo, has been named as the major road category winner in the poll organised by car warranty company Warranty Direct.

The business carried out a survey of the worst maintained roads in the UK, on its website potholes.co.uk

The road, and one on the West Yorkshire and Derbyshire border, was named the worst from over 80 sections of Britain’s 246,000-mile highway network nominated by visitors to the website.

The unwanted title for the road, which passes through Mitford and Hartburn, has prompted Conservative opposition councillors on highways authority Northumberland County Council to savage its Liberal Democrat administration for “slashing” the roads maintenance budget, at the same time as severe winters have badly damaged local roads.


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Old June 2nd, 2011, 10:40 AM   #72
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Chillingham Castle iron bull statues stolen by metal thieves
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, June 2nd 2011



THIEVES have stolen iron bull statues from a 12th-Century Northumberland castle.

The large bronze and cast iron busts were taken from Chillingham Castle, near Wooler, some time between last Monday and Friday, police said yesterday.

The statues depict wild bulls, the rare white creatures which have roamed freely at the neighbouring Chillingham Wild Cattle Park since the 13th Century.

Northumbria Police say it is possible they were stolen as scrap metal, amidst a spate of recent such thefts in the county.

The statues were made sometime in the last century and were bought by owner Sir Humphry Wakefield because of the connection to the Chillingham wild cattle, at some point over the last 30 years.


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Old June 2nd, 2011, 01:11 PM   #73
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Glanton villagers save red telephone box from the axe
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, June 2nd 2011


Twins Kimberley (in blue) and Kayleigh Cowens, 12, at the old BT phone box in Glanton

VILLAGERS in Northumberland have saved a cherished red phone box after lobbying for a council U-turn.

Families in Glanton, near Alnwick, banded together to secure the future of the old-fashioned kiosk, by appealing to village parish councillors to take over the phone at the cost of just £1.

The council had refused to take on the phone box, on the village’s Front Street, when it was deemed surplus to requirements by British Telecom, and was due to have its telephone removed.

However, part-time photographer and editor of the village website Glanton Online, Tony Meikle, took matters into his own hands, determined not to lose the traditional feature.

The 66-year-old, who lives yards from the box on Front Street, enlisted the support of a group of neighbours, and they carried out a survey which revealed that 98% of villagers wanted it saved. A structural survey was also carried out.

The villagers approached the parish and offered to take responsibility for renovation and future maintenance, if the council officially adopted the kiosk.

The parish agreed, paying BT the £1 fee, although the phone was removed.

The residents are now in the process of refurbishing the kiosk, by sanding it down and repainting it. The phone box will now be restored to its original condition, with the word “telephone” being retained above the door despite the absence of one inside.

The group is now looking for ideas for future use of the box, although it has already agreed that it will act as an information centre, with space for village businesses to advertise, and as a book swap location.


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Old June 4th, 2011, 10:56 AM   #74
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Halton Lea Gate opencast boss determined to appeal
by Paul Tully, The Journal, June 4th 2011


AN ongoing battle to save North East countryside from being developed as an opencast mine appeared set to continue yesterday. Paul Murphy, of HM Project Developments, said he remained determined to take rejected excavation plans at Halton Lea Gate to appeal.

Mr Murphy had applied to mine 140,000 tonnes of coal at remote west Northumberland village, close to the Cumbria border, however, the proposal has now twice been rejected by the Council planners. Northumberland County Council said their rejection of the application was based on the “detrimental impacts”, close to the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which they believed would be unacceptable.

Despite his project being turned down, Mr Murphy said he remained determined to one day secure the necessary permission. He told The Journal: “Nothing has changed and I will definitely go to an appeal. I have six months from the date of the last ruling to appeal and I am working on it now. “I want to make sure I have got everything in place. I will stick to the law and follow due process.”

On May 3rd this year, Mr Murphy was involved in angry exchanges with villagers who have united to block proposals which they say will ruin the peaceful environment of their rural community. Mr Murphy had promised up to 60 local jobs and the erection of an equestrian centre on site at the end of a three-and-a-half-year dig.


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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:20 AM   #75
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London outshone as Bondgate Within, in
Alnwick, takes 'Best Shopping Street' Title

Maev Kennedy, The Guardian, Monday 6th June 2011


London may shrug off not winning the "most romantic street" category, which went to Copse Hill Road in Lower Slaughter, a corner of the Cotswolds equally famous for quaint villages and appalling traffic jams involving tourist buses.

It will, however, have pained the capital's retailers that it did not even make the shortlist for "best shopping street", won by Alnwick's Bondgate in Northumberland

Kingston's Market Place in Surrey was a surprising second.

Bondgate Within in Alnwick, with a mixture of independents and high street names in a picturesque street entered by an archway through a 15th century tower, took the best shopping title.

Gordon Castle, local county councillor, said it was a deserved follow up to Alnwick's recent triumph when Country Life magazine judged it the best place to live in Britain.


The above is an excerpt from an article in the Guardian, which also focussed on Gateshead winning the "Hippest Street" Award
Read More . . . http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/201...t-street-award
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Old June 9th, 2011, 12:11 PM   #76
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140 jobs on way to Northumberland after bid success
by David Black, The Journal, June 9th 2011



MORE than 140 jobs are set to be created in Northumberland as a result of the county's only successful bid to the Government's Regional Growth Fund.

Five companies based in Blyth, Ashington and Hexham were part of a North East “energy engineering” consortium which submitted a bid based on an £8.2m package of offshore and renewables technology.

The consortium secured a £1.79m grant in the first round of bidding for cash from the £1.4bn fund.

It was the only one of four bids by Northumberland companies to s ecure funding from the national pot, which was set up last year to replace regional development agencies.


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/business...1140-28848676/
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Old June 14th, 2011, 10:24 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian; February 11th 2011
Campaigners win Newbiggin bandstand battle
by David Black, The Journal, February 11th 2011



DELIGHTED campaigners have won their battle to save a traditional bandstand in a Northumberland seaside town which wants to attract more tourists and visitors. Anger erupted when the steel bandstand – which has been a landmark in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea since the 1930s – was suddenly earmarked for demolition last year under plans to “de-clutter” the central piazza area next to the promenade.

The Journal revealed three months ago how 132 people had signed a petition calling for it to be saved, along with colourful floor mosaics which surround it.
Now the bandstand is to stay and get a welcome facelift, after council bosses did a U-turn on the townscape regeneration plans for the Quay Wall area.

People who responded to a second consultation exercise on the scheme gave 84% support to the bandstand being retained. It will now be refurbished with a new colour scheme and paving.


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Newbiggin-by-the-Sea bandstand gets a facelift
by David Black, The Journal, June 14th 2011


A SEASIDE bandstand which was saved from demolition by people power is now getting a facelift as part of a £150,000 town centre refurbishment scheme.

Anger erupted in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland, last year after plans were revealed to knock down and remove the traditional steel bandstand, which has been a feature of the coastal community since the 1930s.

Council bosses said they wanted to get rid of it as part of a scheme to ‘de-clutter’ the central piazza area next to the promenade.

However, a protest petition was signed by 132 people who wanted the structure retained, and a public consultation exercise resulted in 84% support for it to be saved.

In February the county council relented in the face of public opposition and dropped the demolition plan. Now work is being carried out to refurbish the bandstand as part of a wider revamp of the surrounding Quay Wall area, which also includes new paving, a revised layout, new seats and bins and better lighting.

The colour of the bandstand is being changed from black to blue to help it fit in better with the surrounding area.


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Old June 17th, 2011, 10:44 AM   #78
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Pothole repair work starts on Morpeth to Cambo road
by David Black, The Journal, June 17th 2011


WORK has started on repairing a rural road in Northumberland which was recently named as the worst in the country for potholes.

The winding and picturesque B6343 between Morpeth and the hamlets of Cambo and Scots Gap has been the subject of numerous complaints from drivers, motorbike riders and cyclists about the number of dangerous holes in its surface.

Last month it was named the worst in the major road category in a poll organised by car warranty company Warranty Direct.

Now Northumberland County Council has come up with cash to start filling in and patching the worst of the potholes at each end of the route.

The authority says the road is popular with cyclists and it has received a large number of complaints via its website about number of potholes.

Resurfacing work for the western end of the route near Cambo will be carried out in the next few weeks. In addition, resources have been put in place to carry out significant patching work at the Morpeth end. Some of this has already been completed.


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Old June 18th, 2011, 02:14 PM   #79
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Plans halted as new details come to light
by Paul Tully, The Journal, June 18th 2011


John Riddle, Chairman of Northumberland National Park, at his farm near Bellingham.

PLANS to redevelop “heritage asset” buildings on the Northumberland National Park Authority chairman’s 1,100-acre farm have been put on hold. Revised planning details were not put before the county’s Historic Buildings Adviser when he said that Coun John Riddle should not be able to convert a number of old farm buildings into homes.

Now the council’s area west planning committee has deferred a decision on the planning application – and will make a site visit to Blakelaw Farm before meeting again to discuss the plans next month.

Historic features of buildings at the farm, on the Pennine Way and the edge of Northumberland National Park, include original ventilation slits and first-floor pitching doors. But the Historic Buildings Advisor’s verdict was based on an original planning application and not the revised submission, councillors have been told. Coun Riddle’s agent, Keith Butler, said there were “inaccuracies” in the planning officer’s report as a result.

Mr Butler told the committee: “The proposed extensions do not harm the existing character of the buildings – they would enhance the buildings. The Historic Building’s Officer’s comments are out of date.”


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Old June 22nd, 2011, 08:27 PM   #80
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Billy Shiel - Seahouses

The Farne Islands are famed for their massive colonies of seabirds, particularly their Puffins, and their Grey Seals, probably thanks to the relentless efforts of one Billy Shiel, whose fleet of boats took thousands of visitors out to the Farnes in all seasons from the harbour at Seahouses, to observe and even to be attacked by the birds!

For many, Billy Shiel is synonymous with Farne Island boat trips.

It was very sad to learn that Billy passed away on Friday morning, 17th June 2011. He will be missed by many who have enjoyed his knowledgeable and enjoyable tours.

.

Last edited by Newcastle Historian; June 22nd, 2011 at 09:51 PM.
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