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Old February 9th, 2012, 11:15 AM   #121
Newcastle Historian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian; November 25th 2011
Rock Hall School near Alnwick forced to close
by Sara Nichol, The Journal, November 25th 2011



A POPULAR school at the heart of a rural Northumberland community has announced it will close. Rock Hall School, near Alnwick, will close its doors in July next year after rising costs and falling pupil numbers made it impossible for teaching to continue.

Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz1ei7zv0CF
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Rock Hall School celebrates being saved from closure
by Sara Nichol, The Journal, February 9th 2012

A POPULAR rural school has been saved from closure after a six-week survival campaign by parents. The Journal revealed last year that Rock Hall School, near Alnwick Northumberland, was being forced to shut down at the end of July due to rising costs, falling pupil numbers and red tape.

The closure meant 20 job losses and around 50 children being forced to find another school, but the announcement prompted worried parents to launch the Save Our School in Six Weeks campaign in a bid to save the last remaining independent school between Newcastle and Berwick.

Yesterday, co-headteacher at the school, Lalage Bosanquet, was delighted to announce the campaign had been a success. Mrs Bosanquet, who set up the school in a shed in her back garden in 1984, said: “Because of a great deal of very hard work by a lot of people, we have managed to save the school."


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Old February 14th, 2012, 11:18 AM   #122
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Berwick Royal Border Bridge set for illumination
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, February 14th 2012


FULL ILLUMINATION of an iconic Northumberland bridge has moved a step closer with plans for the project now getting the green light. Northumberland County Council has approved an application which will allow the Grade I-listed Royal Border Bridge over the Tweed at Berwick to be completely lit up.

The Government has now been advised of the decision and is determining whether it needs to be ‘called in’ for consideration by the relevant secretary of state. If it is not, work will start once a contractor has been appointed, and Network Rail has given consent for access to the bridge.

Last night, one of the founders of the project was excited by the prospect of the landmark finally being fully lit. The 28-arch bridge, which carries East Coast trains over the River Tweed, was designed and built by famous North East-born civil engineer Robert Stephenson and is close to the centre of the Berwick Conservation Area.

The bridge was first opened in 1850 by Queen Victoria. In 2009, Berwick History Society and Cittaslow held events to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Stephenson’s death in 1859. The Stephenson 150 committee then decided to permanently illuminate the bridge as part of events to mark the 160th year of its opening in 2010


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Old February 15th, 2012, 10:52 AM   #123
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Concern in Allendale over hold-up on Dale Hotel plans
by Paul Tully, The Journal, February 15th 2012



PLANS to revive a run-down centrepiece building in the heart of a scenic Northumberland village have gone on hold in a row over affordable housing. The dilapidated Dale Hotel in Allendale Market Place was in line for conversion into a prestigious development of houses and flats, but now owner John Champ has pulled back while the quota of affordable housing in the proposed 10-residence development is thrashed out.

Northumberland County Council wants the scheme to include between 30% and 50% of affordable housing, but Mr Champ fears that amount will damage the profitability of his plans. His agents are now undertaking a viability study.

Agent John Widdaker said yesterday: “The application has been withdrawn at the moment. We want time to get more information in relation to the cost of the development, which is likely to be exceptionally high, against their requirements for affordable housing.

“The development has to show a profit for the developer of some sort. The developer would want to more than break even."


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/northum...1634-30332259/

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Old February 21st, 2012, 11:10 AM   #124
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1,356 affordable Northumberland
homes planned in new strategy

by David Black, The Journal, February 21st 2012


MORE than 1,350 affordable homes could be built in Northumberland over the next five years as part of a new strategy aimed at tackling a serious shortage of accommodation for local people and young families.

The planned programme involves a combination of building hundreds of new council houses, and providing support to housing associations to help deliver almost 1,000 more.

County Hall bosses plan to use their borrowing powers – and transfer council-owned land valued at up to £20m for housing development – in a bid to make significant progress on what has been identified as a key priority by local people.

The move comes at a time when there are 13,700 applicants on the county’s Homefinder social housing register – of which 7,500 have been assessed as having housing need.

The new strategy proposes building more than 450 council houses over the next five years, and council support to enable housing associations to provide about 900 more. It adds up to 1,356 new units, but this will not be a net increase as some of them will replace outdated existing stock, such as on the Hodgson’s Road estate in Blyth.


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Old March 4th, 2012, 12:16 PM   #125
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Definitely new homes are much needed in Northumberland, particular in places like Alnwick where locals are priced out of the market.
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Old March 6th, 2012, 02:22 PM   #126
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Rio Tinto Alcan announce date of closure
of Lynemouth aluminium smelter

The Journal, Business News, March 6th 2012


RIO Tinto Alcan has this morning announced the date of closure of its Lynemouth aluminium smelter in Northumberland. The plant will close on March 29 with 323 of the 515 staff to be made redundant in May.

The decision follows consultation with employee representatives.

Jacynthe Cotte, chief executive of Rio Tinto Alcan, said: I am saddened by the closure of Lynemouth Smelter but we have reached this decision only after a thorough strategic review of the plant and a fair and transparent consultation process.

"I have met with Lynemouth unions and staff members and I have great respect for the manner in which they have represented their colleagues during consultation. "We will now focus on safely decommissioning the plant, working with our employees to mitigate the impact of redundancy on them and their families and partnering with all interested stakeholders on the future regional economic development of the Lynemouth site.

"We are in close contact with our customers to limit the impact on their businesses under the scope of our contractual agreements."

Some operational activity in the smelters carbon and casting plants will continue this year. The companys ship unloading facility at the Port of Blyth will continue to operate for around 18 months and will be used to store and transport raw materials for the Lochaber Smelter in the Scottish Highlands until a more permanent solution is put in place.

A core team of around 60 employees will remain on site beyond the closure of all operations to work on decommissioning, remediation and regional economic development.


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Old March 7th, 2012, 12:09 PM   #127
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Coastguards Lookout Tower on
Holy Island to be transformed

by Tony Henderson, The Journal, March 7th 2012



A TOWER built for Coastguards on an island off the coast of Northumberland is soon to be turned into a room with a spectacular view. Work has started to transform the structure on Holy Island into a viewing platform for visitors and locals. The former Coastguards Lookout Tower, sited on an outcrop of volcanic rock known as the Heugh, was built in the 1940s but has not been used for many years.

Now the Holy Island of Lindisfarne Community Development Trust is working with Natural England to give it a new lease of life. The project includes making the interior weatherproof and bringing it up to modern safety standards, with the ladder between the ground floor and the first-floor gallery being replaced by a staircase.

At the top of the tower, the dilapidated coastguard lookout room is to be turned into a glazed, 360-degree observatory. This will provide visitors with a panoramic view of Holy Island itself and sweeping views of the Farne Islands, the Cheviot Hills and the Berwickshire coast.

For the first time, it will also be possible for people to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve.


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...#ixzz1oQLy9DD0

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Old March 19th, 2012, 11:44 AM   #128
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Bellingham Heritage Centre - Cafe now
open in second train carriage

by Tony Henderson, The Journal, March 19th 2012


A 1950s railway carriage has provided the platform for 22-year-old Sarah Billany to launch her own rural business. The official opening took place at the weekend of two carriages at Bellingham Heritage Centre in Northumberland, which is based at the town’s former railway station.

The carriages, similar to those used on the Border Counties rail line which served Bellingham, were tracked down to Devon and brought 400 miles to Northumberland by road on a low loader. The volunteer-run centre has restored the carriages, with one being used for additional exhibition space.

The 66ft long carriages have been painted in Border Counties colours and stand at the platform at Bellingham Station for the first time since the line’s closure in 1958. The carriages venture has been backed by a Heritage Lottery Fund award of £173,600.

The exhibitions coach houses permanent displays about the Wannie railway line from Redesmouth to Morpeth and the branch line to Rothbury as well as a permanent exhibition on Brown Rigg School, a wooden boarding establishment built in 1938 on the outskirts of Bellingham which closed in the 1980s.

There are also classroom facilities in the coach for visiting schools and special interest groups, and an exhibition by Northumberland National Park to encourage visitors to explore the area. The Heritage Centre itself has a new lighting system which combines improved energy efficiency with better illumination of artefacts. The current temporary exhibition area in the centre is of pastel drawings by Elsdon artist Geoff Heslop entitled Local Working People. This will run until May 9.


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Old March 19th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #129
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Cambois biomass power station formal bid submitted
by David Black, The Journal, March 19th 2012


VILLAGERS are maintaining their opposition to plans for a £250m power station in Northumberland – as a green energy company seeks official consent to build the generating plant.

RES – which proposes the 100-megawatt biomass station at Battleship Wharf on the River Blyth – has now submitted a formal application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC). The move follows months of consultations with key stakeholders and local residents on the proposal, which the company claims will produce enough renewable energy to power about 170,000 homes, and cut carbon emissions by 300,000 tonnes a year.

If, as expected, the IPC accepts the application for a development consent order, there will then be a further period of public consultations, when organisations such as the county council, and local residents, can make their final views known.

Three months ago a public meeting in North Blyth heard the environmental watchdog group Biofuelwatch question the green credentials of the project, claiming large-scale biomass plants like the one proposed could worsen climate change problems and even accelerate global warming


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Old April 3rd, 2012, 12:21 PM   #130
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Lottery cash to boost North East village revival scheme
by Michael Brown, The Journal, April 3rd 2012


VILLAGES in Northumberland and County Durham are among those benefiting from a lottery fund supporting the start-up of rural businesses.

The BIG Lottery Fund’s Village SOS scheme aims to kick-start a rural revival, particularly in isolated areas that are suffering due to an aging population and the closure of local shops and services. Lynemouth Community Trust, in Northumberland, has received £30,000 for its scheme that aims to “up-cycle” unwanted rubbish into new items people will want to buy.

The BIG grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 are available to help rural communities with less than 3,000 people develop plans for projects that answer a local need or improve services for local people.

Other recipients in the North East include . . .

Milfield Heavy Horse Association, in Northumberland, which has been offered £29,700 to hold an annual festival of working horses,

£25,000 for the Fontburn Internet Project in Ewesley, Northumberland, which is trying to bring broadband to the tiny hamlet.

£29,500 for the Middleton Plus Development Trust in Middleton-in-Teesdale, County Durham, which will provide a range of family activities and courses for residents.

For more information about the BIG Lottery Fund’s Village SOS scheme, visit www.villagesos.org.uk


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Old April 9th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #131
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Worries grow over 'sea' of turbines in the North East
by Tom Rowley, The Journal, April 9th 2012



ALMOST 200 more wind turbines could soon be put up across the North East, The Journal can reveal. Applicants want to put another 194 of the turbines in Northumberland, Gateshead and County Durham, according to local councils. About 109 of these applications come in addition to farms that have already won planning permission, our survey discloses. The figures come days after a motion to slow down the rate of wind farm approvals in Northumberland was rejected by councillors. But they backed an alternative motion to consult more widely about the future of the farms. The applications range from a site of 18 turbines with the capacity to produce 75 megawatts of energy to several single turbines on farms.

In Northumberland, 19 turbines are under construction, 59 have been approved subject to a raft of different conditions and a further 33 have received planning permission. Durham County Council is currently reviewing two applications for five turbines each at Sheraton Hill, east of Durham, and at Hamsterley Forest. Planners in Gateshead are considering a single application for a turbine at Eighton Banks. A further two schemes have asked the council if they will require an environmental impact assessment before planning approval is given.

Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland councils have received no applications.

Coun Glen Sanderson, who brought the Northumberland motion calling for a halt to applications, said he was surprised by the number of potential turbines uncovered by our survey. He said the new figures were “even more disturbing” for opponents of wind farms. “The people that I represent are firmly of the view that Northumberland has already had its fair share of applications,” he said.

A spokesman for Renewable UK, a group which represents firms behind wind farms, said: “Our planning system already factors in the impact of existing wind farms when assessing planning applications and so putting arbitrary limits on wind farms is wrong. “We should continue to assess each wind farm on a case by case basis. Wind farms represent an investment of millions of pounds, of which about a third is retained in the region in the form of jobs, contracts and supplies.”


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Old April 9th, 2012, 12:51 PM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
ALMOST 200 more wind turbines could soon be put up across the North East
Good!
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Old April 9th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #133
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It might seem perverse, but I find wind turbines to be quite beautiful things. I'd happily move to a nice rural house in sight of them.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 03:57 PM   #134
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Quote:
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It might seem perverse, but I find wind turbines to be quite beautiful things. I'd happily move to a nice rural house in sight of them.

You are not alone there!
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Old April 9th, 2012, 09:51 PM   #135
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Quote:
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It might seem perverse, but I find wind turbines to be quite beautiful things. I'd happily move to a nice rural house in sight of them.
I do and don't agree with you. Sometimes they can enhance a view, other times they can obstruct or ruin a view.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 11:43 AM   #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
You are not alone there!
Couldn't agree more. I find them extremely graceful things that I could watch all day long
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Old April 18th, 2012, 10:36 PM   #137
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Quote:
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Couldn't agree more. I find them extremely graceful things that I could watch all day long
Add me to that list. They're incredibly elegant pieces of engineering. If we can put up with pylons, we can enjoy turbines.

Plus it's also a matter of association; I link them to clean energy, less pollution etc.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:07 PM   #138
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I could accept their appearance if wind turbines were actually useful. Unfortunately, the high carbon footprint from manufacturing, maintenance, repair and replacement and the fact that traditional power plants must be retained on permanent standby due to low wind levels and unreliability renders windfarms pretty worthless (and very, very costly) in addressing sustainable energy needs. I suspect the only reason turbines have gained so much traction is that influential landowners and energy groups are set to profit substantially.

Sadly, I believe many tens of billions will be thrown into this wholly inadequate technology (with energy inevitably bills soaring) before panic sets in and the whole concept is abandoned.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 12:08 PM   #139
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The newest models are vastly more efficient and will continue to improve. Every technology takes time to get up to speed and wind will follow (IMHO).

Plus the issue of their intermittance will be largely negated once we have the European supergrid.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 11:25 AM   #140
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That supergrid is never going to happen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_super_grid
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