17th September – Public Meeting

  Filed under: Meetings, Residents Meetings
  Comments: None


Chairperson Ms A Silk

Secretary Ms P Cooper

Committee Members
Ms M Lambton
Ms C Brown
Mr G Martin

In Attendance
2 Community Police Officers

Ms H Fife
Mr D Lambton
Ms L Pickup
Cllr B Scaplehorn

Approximately 45 residents attended.

  1. Minutes of previous meeting were approved
  2. Police Report. A copy of the full report is available on the SRVA website. It included 11 incidents of theft from car. Thefts ranged from quite small amounts of change to tools worth considerable amounts of money. The Police reiterated their advice that residents should not leave anything in their cars. Other incidents involved intruders on the quarry and problems with youths. The Officers reported that a restructuring of their service was to come into effect in January that should provide more officers being available in our area. A resident commented that a resident had CCTV of an incident but was told the Police would not follow this up when she telephoned to report the incident. The Police Officers said that that should not have happened and the resident could make a complaint.
  3. Bowes Update. Planned events include Guided Walks, a Halloween Event, Bonfire Night Event and Christmas Wreath making workshops in December. If anyone is interested in volunteering they should contact the Bowes Railway.
  4. Northumbrian Water. A planning application for the reservoir has been submitted. The SRVA will object on the basis that its constitution requires it to object to developments on Greenbelt land, however the Committee does not think there are any grounds to object as this is expected to meet the ‘Exceptional Needs” planning criteria. Possible objections raised by residents included the access road being too close to existing houses and suggested the council request Northumbrian Water move the road as far to the west as possible and to improve landscaping plans to improve the views for nearby residents. One benefit of the reservoir would be that it is expected that it would prevent houses or other development on the site. Northumbrian Water has previously stated that if the reservoir did not proceed they may sell the land. A resident noted that the reservoir should not be called underground as it will be mostly above ground. A start date is not known as Gateshead Council also has to give planning consent as pipes etc. will be in its area.
  5. Hellens Field No planning application has been submitted to date.
  6. Greenbelt: It was reported that there was good news following the Examination in Public with the Inspector recommending that 3 of the 5 sites proposed for deletion from Greenbelt around the village should be kept as Greenbelt. This is almost unprecedented and is down to the hard work, the many objections submitted by residents and the attendance at the Examination in Public of both SRVA Committee members and many residents. There will now be further consultation by the Council but should result in the remaining Greenbelt being safe until the next review in 2033. There is now a period of consultation on the Inspector’s proposed modifications to the Plan but he has said only new evidence will be considered.

Objections to the plans will include traffic issues and infrastructure issues. Residents are asked to start taking photos of problems on Mount Lane from both motorists and pedestrians’ point of view. These should be emailed to the SRVA. The possibility of a traffic census was raised but this would require extra volunteers. Anybody offering to help should contact the SRVA. A resident said he would site a camera on the road to provide evidence.

The next battle for the SRVA will start when Hellens begin the planning process.

  1. Football Pitches off Springwell Road. Russell Foster has put in a request to Sunderland Council regarding whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is needed to put football pitches and associated buildings on the field opposite Low Mount Farm (next to the Waste Disposal Site). The proposal includes a large (40 metres) building, up to 9 football pitches, car parking, a road and floodlights. This field is currently Greenbelt. It is possible the development would change this to a brownfield site meaning that if the football pitches are not financially successful then housing could be built on the site in the future. SVRA is bound by its constitution to object to developments on the greenbelt.

2. AOB:
a) Public Footpaths. A resident noted that somebody had put a sign at the entrance to a footpath crossing a field saying that the footpath was now closed. This particular footpath is not often used and has become hard to use. Issues such as this need to be reported to the Council who are responsible for maintenance and easy access.
b) Michele Johnson has resigned from the SRVA Committee for personal reasons, leaving the Committee without a Vice-Chairperson. Michele was thanked for her contribution to the SRVA.
c) More volunteers are needed by the SRVA. This could involve leaflet distribution, flower bed maintenance or litter picking. Any help will be gratefully received!

9. Date & time of next meeting – To be confirmed.

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