PUBLIC MEETING – 29 November 2016
SPRINGWELL SOCIAL CLUB
Present: Chair A. Templeman
Vice Chair M. Johnson
Other committee members H. Fife
Apologies: Cllr. H. Trueman
Cllr. D. Trueman
Cllr. B. Scapelhorn
1.The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.
2. Northumbrian Water (NW): Andy Downer recapped (minutes of meeting June 2016 refer) on the plan to build an underground reservoir -this will be a covered tank, symmetrical in appearance, with a grass covered landscape.
Hellens bought the site and plan to build houses. NW contacted Hellens who has agreed to sell part of the site (in principle). This includes access from Mount Lane. The council was notified.
Engineering planning is under way. Originally NW expected to do the work in two phases but have since decided to do the work in one phase which will reduce disruption to residents.
Two pieces of work for NW : a) engineering planning and b)work on the planning application.
The Council requires a full planning application rather than the outline permission NW was hoping for so there has been a delay in putting in the application. The public consultation will therefore be delayed until January.
An ancient wagonway has been flagged up by records so Durham University is doing a geophysical survey of the land. The results are not yet available.
Environmental work – there are protected newts in ponds to the north of the proposed site but these are further away than the newts can migrate.
Landscape architects will develop a photo montage of what the area will look like after the work.
A road is proposed to the eastern side of the site approx. 45m from the boundary and nearby housing.
Residents were concerned about the disruption and nuisance caused during the construction of the reservoir and that the road would facilitate the development of the site for houses. There was a suggestion that residents may support the reservoir but not if the road was to be used as a “Trojan Horse” for Hellens.
Full ‘questions and answers’ can be found on SVRA website under ‘Northumbrian Water’ tab.
Flooding to Beech Grove and beyond: A joint investigation is being carried out between NW and Sunderland Council. More site investigation work is required regarding the culverted watercourse which runs from Mount Lane/Springwell Road junction. This has delayed the scheme and design work is now expected to start in March/April 2017. Andy Downer agreed to pass on residents’ concerns over recent flooding and to investigate whether anything can be done to alleviate flooding in the interim.
3. Thompsons: the current planning application had attracted 72 comments, 71 of which were objections. SVRA had objected as agreed at the last meeting and had drafted letters for residents to sign, left them in Springwell Club and the Village Hall, collected them and delivered them to the Council. This accounted for around 30% of objections.
Residents commented: SVRA had not made the same effort as they had on the greenbelt issue. It was explained that the same effort had been made to generate interest (flyer in every household) but that had not resulted in high attendance at the meeting at which it was to be discussed – around 50 people had attended – 18 voted to object as opposed to over 200 and a unanimous vote on opposing all development on the greenbelt. It was noted that four residents had begun working on greenbelt issues and gathered over 900 signatures on a petition (demonstrating the strength of feeling in the community) long before SVRA became involved.
Had SVRA taken money from Thompsons – Definitely not. Externally audited accounts are presented annually at the AGM and are available in the annual report.
There was a long debate covering Thompsons history in the village and their failure to comply with planning conditions. Residents complained about unacceptable levels of dust and noise. There was a suggestion that working with Thompsons had not resulted in improvements. A suggestion was made of a petition to close them down – this had been tried before and it did not work.
SVRA was asked to (1) find out British Standard for dust levels (2) source an independent authority to monitor dust levels, Newcastle University was suggested (3) invite Thompsons’ planner to next RA meeting to discuss dust report (4) check status of quarry review.
4. Police: Since the last RA meeting in October there has been a burglary in Uplands Way, theft of 5 wheelie bins and a number of complaints re noise from the Mill House.
5. Next Meeting: 31 January 2017.
The Christmas raffle raised a total of £77