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Old February 2nd, 2011, 11:10 AM   #41
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Tourism benefits outlined in eco-holiday park plans
by Paul Tully, The Journal, February 2nd 2011


A LUXURY eco-holiday complex in a Northumberland beauty spot would make an important contribution to county tourism without damaging the landscape, the young entrepreneur behind the scheme claimed yesterday.

Sherod Walker, who wants to build the Waterfall Country Estate on 16 acres of open land near the A68 at Ridsdale in the North Tyne, told a planning appeal the zero-carbon development would blend into the picturesque landscape without harm.

Mr Walker, a 25-year-old Northumbrian, has taken the county council and the owners of a planned wind farm site to a public inquiry after being refused permission for the holiday centre.

The council and Wind Prospect Development Ltd, who are behind plans for a nearby windfarm with 18 wind turbines, are both opposing the plans.


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Old February 11th, 2011, 11:15 AM   #42
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Ridsdale eco resort endorsed - but refused
by Paul Tully, The Journal, February 11th 2011


A LUXURY eco-holiday resort is being added to Northumberland’s tourism strategy, even though it has been turned down for planning permission.

The 16-acre Waterfalls Estate at Ridsdale is currently on the drawing board while developer Sherod Walker awaits the decision of a planning inspector on whether he can go ahead.

But now the region’s culture and tourism board has given the development its backing and Northumberland Tourism has endorsed it as a key project in its five-year Area Tourism Management Plan (ATMaP).

Caroline Stewart, Northumberland Tourism deputy chief executive, said: “The panel felt the Waterfalls Estate project addresses accommodation need and demonstrates strong environmental ethos, and it has potential to make a positive contribution to Northumberland’s destination brand


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Old February 11th, 2011, 11:18 AM   #43
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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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Old February 15th, 2011, 10:38 AM   #44
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Alnwick to Alnmouth train service given cash boost
The Journal, February 15 2011


PLANS to reinstate a steam rail link in Northumberland have been given the green light by funders.

The Aln Valley Railway Trust has received grants of around £160,000 from three sources towards its long running project to re-establish a train service from Alnwick to Alnmouth.

The line linking the two communities was built in 1850 but closed in 1968.

The idea of reopening it was first mooted in 1995 but the trust suffered a series of delays and false dawns, including a failed bid for Heritage Lottery funding and a five-year hold-up caused by a rival bid to have the old route designated as a public footpath.

The project finally got back on track when a full planning application for the project was approved by Northumberland County Council last July.

Now the trust has received funding which will allow it to kick start the scheme.


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Old February 15th, 2011, 10:51 AM   #45
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Battle for Ford Castle’s future not yet over
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, February 15th 2011


CALLS have been made for a Northumberland castle to be marketed to the private sector.

Northumberland County Councillor Dougie Watkin spoke out on the future of Ford Castle, in calls backed by the brother of the site’s owner, following the recent announcement that the authority is to cease using it as an outdoor education centre.

Council bosses revealed the facility, near Wooler, is to close at the end of August with the castle having been trading at a significant loss.

That loss has continued to rise despite the authority’s efforts.

The council has been operating the castle as an outdoor residential training centre for young people for more than 50 years, having leased it from Ford and Etal Estates since 1956.


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Old February 15th, 2011, 01:14 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
Alnwick to Alnmouth train service given cash boost
Where will they ever raise the money for a railway bridge (or even tram bridge) over the A1?

By stopping east of the A1 on the business park is NOT a boost to tourism! Running into the town centre, either to the old station or up Denwick Lane would deliver passengers right into the town's facilities and attractions, which I'd be happy to support.

Does anyone else think they're not adequately focussed on their objectives? Is it steam engines and heritage rolling stock between Alnmouth and the Lionheart Business Park, or is it light-rail tram to the town centre?
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Old February 17th, 2011, 10:11 AM   #47
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Main line bosses go the extra mile with timetable
by Dave Black, The Journal, Feb 17 2011


RAIL campaigners in Northumberland have welcomed a new inter-city train timetable which they claim will deliver a much better deal for local travellers.

Members of the South East Northumberland Rail Group (SENRUG) say they are “delighted” with the East Coast trains timetable which will begin in May.

They have welcomed earlier, later and more frequent trains linking Morpeth and London, and say the new timetable is good news for local business people visiting the capital.

The timetable gives early morning passengers the opportunity to reach London by 9.40am on weekdays, by taking a new “early bird” service from Morpeth at 6.35am and changing at Newcastle.


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Old February 18th, 2011, 09:31 AM   #48
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Norham Church gets cash windfall for repairs
by Tony Henderson, The Journal, February 17th 2011



PLASTIC buckets are to get the boot at one of Northumberland’s most historic churches after a cash windfall.

The grade I listed St Cuthbert’s Church in Norham, which was dedicated in 1165, has been awarded £83,000 towards roof repairs, replacing defective timbers and carrying out a bat survey.

Church warden and treasurer Canon Terry Harris said: “St Cuthbert’s is a glorious and historically important building.

“But its wonderful ambience has been somewhat marred during recent rainy spells by the strategically-placed plastic buckets and the congregation is looking forward with eagerness to their removal.”

“This generous grant will go a long way towards making this possible.”

The award has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and English Heritage.


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Old February 22nd, 2011, 11:04 AM   #49
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Call to put brakes on wind turbines in Northumberland
by David Black, The Journal, February 22nd 2011


CALLS were made last night for a slowdown in wind farm approvals in Northumberland - amid claims the county is doing far more than its fair share on meeting renewable energy targets.

Local environmental campaigners say England’s most northerly county has already approved four times as much wind generation as any other county outside the North East.

They claim Northumberland is already meeting renewables targets set for 2060 – and it is now ‘time to take stock’ in terms of how many more massive turbines should be given the green light.


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Old February 26th, 2011, 11:46 AM   #50
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We could (perhaps should) have had a separate 'Project thread' for this one, so we could have followed it through from proposal, to planning, to preparation, to construction. It looks an interesting project . . .

Topping out ceremony for new Maritime Centre
by David Black, The Journal, February 26th 2011



A FLAGSHIP tourist attraction celebrating a coastal town’s colourful seafaring past is on course to welcome its first visitors this summer.

The £3m Maritime Heritage Centre taking shape on the seafront at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland will bring significant tourism, economic and educational benefits to the area.

Construction work on the landmark building is ahead of schedule, and the centre is due to open its doors to the public in July.

Yesterday scores of townspeople turned out for an official topping out ceremony, marking the final beam being placed at the top of the iconic structure.

The building’s centrepiece attractions will be the restored Mary Joicey – the last seagoing lifeboat to be stationed in Newbiggin – and one of the last of the town’s fleet of traditional fishing cobles, the Girl Ann.


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Old February 27th, 2011, 11:43 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DXNewcastle View Post
Where will they ever raise the money for a railway bridge (or even tram bridge) over the A1?

By stopping east of the A1 on the business park is NOT a boost to tourism! Running into the town centre, either to the old station or up Denwick Lane would deliver passengers right into the town's facilities and attractions, which I'd be happy to support.

Does anyone else think they're not adequately focussed on their objectives? Is it steam engines and heritage rolling stock between Alnmouth and the Lionheart Business Park, or is it light-rail tram to the town centre?
I can only assume the thinking is that running the rail - light or otherwise - to the town centre simply cannot be funded. Even if you were to bridge the A1 you'd run into further difficulties not half a mile further on with the A1068 - and beyond that is there even still space for a trackbed to be reinstated?

And so the question then becomes, is there interest in trying to reinstate as far as the A1 (yes) and if so what will be the best way to bring in volunteer help, raise funds, attract customers etc? Answer - run it as heritage.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 01:59 PM   #52
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Allendale village market gets a funding boost
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, March 1st 2011


PLANS to regenerate a Northumberland village’s historic market square have received a funding boost.

Allendale Parish Council has been given almost £7,000 towards a project to refurbish the village market place, in the Big Lottery Fund Awards for All’s latest round of grants.

The Parish Council has received £6,894 towards the project to create a new open space, fit to host a range of events for the community all year round.

At present, the square attracts many locals and visitors to the businesses which are based there and the scheme aims to make it an even more welcoming place to visit.

Local people will be fully involved in the design and planning of the project.


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Old March 2nd, 2011, 05:31 PM   #53
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Northumberland market towns are drivers of growth
by Peter McCusker, The Journal, February 23rd 2011


Northumberland Business Park

THE Market Towns of Northumberland are drivers of growth say two regional commercial property experts. The county of Northumberland covers 2,000 sq miles and is the most northerly county in England with a population of 310,000.

The majority of the county is predominantly rural in nature with large areas of moorland, hills, valleys and forests. The urban south east comprises only a small percentage of the land area, but accommodates in excess of 50% of the county population offering easy access to the Tyneside conurbation.

In recent years the employment base has changed and diversified from basic industries including agriculture, coal mining and port activity.

Today there is a diverse manufacturing sector with a strong representation of engineering, process and pharmaceutical companies including Aesica, BASF, Piramal and Merck Sharp and Dohme.

Northumberland Market Towns, including Berwick, Alnwick, Hexham and Morpeth are all served by edge-of-town business parks which have attracted new employment generating development by the private sector.


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Old March 5th, 2011, 10:04 AM   #54
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Wartime art is found at Stannington hospital
by Joanne Butcher, The Journal, March 5th 2011



A PIECE of wartime history has been unearthed at a former Northumberland war hospital.

Workers in Stannington have discovered a unique mural of Winston Churchill buried deep in the bowels of St Mary’s hospital.

The artwork, believed to date from 1943, is now set to go under the hammer to raise cash for modern-day soldiers.

North East homebuilder Bellway is developing St Mary’s, which was built as an asylum in 1910.

The Grade-II listed building has been empty since 1995, but after a lengthy planning wrangle is now being transformed into apartments.


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Old March 7th, 2011, 10:09 AM   #55
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Market revival seeks harmony
by David Black, The Journal, March 7th 2011


TRADITIONAL street markets across Northumberland are in line for a new “harmonised” look as part of a drive to revive their fortunes.

An action plan has been drawn up by council bosses under a new strategy aimed at restoring open-air markets as important elements of the county's shopping experience.

Markets are held in nine of Northumberland's main towns, but have been suffering since the 1990s from a drop in customers, dwindling numbers of traders and a lack of quality.

The new strategy - aimed at rejuvenating the stalls amid claims that some are at risk of folding - is expected to be approved by the county council's executive today.

Markets are held in Berwick, Alnwick, Morpeth, Hexham, Haltwhistle, Ponteland, Ashington, Bedlington and Blyth, and various attempts have been made in recent years to arrest their downward spiral.


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Old March 15th, 2011, 11:31 AM   #56
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Protests at duke's holiday park plans
by Paul Tully, The Journal, March 15th 2011


THE Duke of Northumberland’s plans for a holiday park at a hamlet in the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage site are facing major protests.

The duke wants to develop the four-acre farmland he owns at Harlow Hill, west of Heddon on the Military Road, with accommodation, a play area, clubhouse and shops.

But a string of objections has been lodged, led by English Heritage, who say the proposal would cause unacceptable damage to the World Heritage site.

County planners received 23 separate letters of protest, along with petitions carrying 65 names.

And Stamfordham Parish Council has put forward a six-point case against the plans, highlighting road dangers, green belt preservation and the scale of the development.

The parish also claims the holiday park would be too close to the Heritage Site and “would not be appropriate to the type of tourists attracted to Hadrian’s Wall”.

Colin Barnes, head of planning at the duke’s Northumberland Estates, says the holiday complex is aimed at improving tourism facilities in the area.

But Stamfordham Parish Council chairman Coun Edward Trevelyan responded: “It is over-development in a small hamlet in the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage site, and would create traffic problems on what is quite a narrow stretch of the Military Road going through Harlow Hill.


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Old March 17th, 2011, 07:50 PM   #57
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Anger as repair plan for Rothbury bridge 'rejected'
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, March 17th 2011


Road bridge over the River Coquet at Rothbury

English Heritage have angered villagers in Northumberland by objecting to proposals for work on a historic bridge. The organisation has been criticised for opposing plans drawn up to improve the appearance of the road bridge over the River Coquet at Rothbury.

Northumberland County Council came up with plans to strengthen and improve the appearance of the bridge, which dates from the 15th century and is the oldest structure in Rothbury.

The council plans sought to restore the bridge as close to how it looked pre 1909, replacing the current metal railings with stone, restoring the parapets and putting cutwaters back on the structure.

The project is expected to cost £3m, with the council having allocated £975,000 last year and given a further £1.6m this year.

Coun Bridgett said: “This is our bridge, it is not English Heritage who will have to live with what it looks like for the next 150-200 years. This is the oldest structure in Rothbury dating from the 15th century and the county council have proposed a scheme that genuinely reflects this and restores it as much as possible to its original glory and, for once, the county council is prepared to pay the extra money to achieve this.

“This is what we as a community want – hundreds of residents turned out to the public consultation last year and were really pleased with what the council were proposing. It beggars belief that an unelected organisation can just steamroll over and ignore what the residents who will actually use and appreciate this bridge want.”


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Old March 25th, 2011, 12:06 PM   #58
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Wildlife fears shoot down Otterburn army training plans
by Tony Henderson, The Journal, March 25th 2011


A DECISION on an army bid for a shooting compound in Northumberland National Park has been put on hold.

The application is for a compound including three shooting house structures and a partial perimeter fence at Quickening Cote Battle Shooting Area on the Otterburn training range.

Park authorities said the Ministry of Defence had not supplied sufficient information to demonstrate there were no alternative locations for their operational requirements that would not have as negative an impact on biodiversity.

As a result, the national park’s development management committee deferred their decision on the application.

But the park authority has approved two applications by the Ministry of Defence to build two other training structures on the Otterburn range.


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Old March 25th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #59
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Halton Lea Gate villagers’ anger at new opencast plan
by Paul Tully, The Journal, March 25th 2011


A NEW wave of objections is set to greet a fresh bid for an opencast dig in a remote Northumberland village.

Four environmental groups as well as the local parish council and 81 individuals have lodged protests against plans to take 140,000 tonnes of high-grade coal from a field adjacent to the Cumbrian border at Halton Lea Gate.

Houghton-le-Spring-based HM Project Developments, which was turned down by planners 16 months ago, has come back with an amended application. The area is close to the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the villagers anxious to preserve their rural lifestyle are determined not to be beaten.

Councillors from the county planning and environment committee will pay an official visit to the 75-acre site on April 8 to assess the situation.

But the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Natural England, the RSPB and the Tyne Rivers Trust as well as Hartleyburn Parish Council and the county ecologist have all stated their cases against the controversial plans.


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Old March 25th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #60
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The Barn at Beal Sign saga goes head to head
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, March 25th 2011



A NORTHUMBERLAND visitor attraction yesterday went head to head with council and road bosses over its bid to keep an advertising sign.

The Barn at Beal, a farming centre near Holy Island, took on Northumberland County Council and the Highways Agency following its appeal against the local authority’s decision to refuse retrospective permission for the sign.

The attraction, run by Rodney Smith on his farm, put up the sign mounted on the back of a cart at the side of the A1 in a bid to draw in visitors.

But on the second day of it being in place, the council served a notice on Mr Smith ordering him to remove it.


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