SPRINGWELL VILLAGE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL REPORT 2017-18
Residents continued throughout the year to support the Association with attendance at meetings averaging around 40.
Generally in the Village
• The design of a scheme to alleviate flooding to the Beech Grove area and beyond was completed. An engineer from the Council presented a model of flooding and explained how the new drainage would work. (Construction began in April 2018).
• SVRA has continued to develop relationships with organisations that can help with general maintenance in the village – Washington Trust, Gentoo and Groundwork have advised on volunteering and attracting grants and tapping into manpower resources.
• Summer and Spring planting was carried out throughout the village.
• Thompson’s – During 2017 residents voted to object to a current planning application to extend the operating licence. There have been delays in the processing of this complicated application with the decision not expected until late 2018.
• SVRA campaigned for a 20mph speed limit in the vicinity of the primary school. The Council is currently working on the detail and is proposing to extend the zone to include most of the village. Installation is expected summer/autumn 2018.
• SVRA is collaborating with Springwell Village Community Venue in organising a second Forties Weekend by helping with publicity and maintenance of the planting area around the Community Venue
• Bowes Railway has been represented at many of the residents’ meetings giving information on events and updates on the development of the site.
• The Police have supplied reports on crime and officers attended some meetings.
• Ward Councillors have attended residents’ meetings except on the rare occasions when they had prior business commitments
Green Belt Campaign
Northumbrian Water completed the purchase of around 9 acres of land from Hellens to construct a reservoir. The Company was represented at a number of residents’ meetings and explained their plans. The reservoir will largely be underground, however it will be visible from Mount Lane. Northumbrian Water’s agreement with Hellens allows for the construction of an access road to the remainder of the site. Building the reservoir would reduce the number of houses that could be built on the site.
Planning Applications on greenbelt land:
1. An application to erect tepees on the Mill House site was refused and an appeal made. (Appeal dismissed April 2018)
2. In July 2017 the Council consulted on the first draft of the Core Strategy and Development Plan. The Plan proposed that five sites (four in Springwell Village and one around half a mile away) be released from greenbelt for housing development.
a. SVRA submitted comments complaining about the consultation process on the grounds that it was not fit for purpose.
b. SVRA objected to the Plan on the grounds that evidence justifying building the number of houses proposed was unconvincing, evidence supporting deletion of greenbelt was unconvincing, the proposal to concentrate so many housing developments around Springwell Village would entirely alter the village’s character, road and service infrastructure would be completely inadequate and the required improvements unviable and the Plan was unsustainable. Over 40 points were made in the objection letter.
c. SVRA organised petitions, both hard copy and online, and got over 1,600 signatures.
d. SVRA drafted an objection letter for residents to submit, collected over 1350 signed letters and hand delivered them to the Council.
Finance and Fundraising
Grants totalling £1030 from Washington Development Corporation Trust, Gentoo and Sunderland Community Chest (Council) were received to buy plants for tubs and flower beds and printing materials.
SVRA would also like to thank the many residents and local businesses who have supported the work so far.
Challenges for the coming year
The Council continues to face massive budget cuts and services are very likely to be further affected. If Springwell Village is to maintain it attractiveness and standards of maintenance, many more volunteers are needed to carry out general work. Despite constant complaints about litter and dog fouling people continue to abuse the environment. There are major challenges in changing people’s expectation that the Council will provide enough services to tackle these things and in affecting changes in behaviours to minimise them. If we want to continue to live in a decent place we have to do more work ourselves.
SVRA will continue to work with
• The Council – to influence the emerging Local Plan and to ensure residents’ views are known
• Local businesses – to seek their support for issues affecting Springwell Village
• Outside agencies – to get as much advice and support as possible
• Press – to gain public support where appropriate
We would like to say “thank you” to everybody who has supported the residents of Springwell Village – volunteers, local businesses, Campaign for Protection of Rural England, Washington Development Trust, Washington Development Corporation Trust, Gentoo, Bowes Railway, Springwell Village Community Venue and Ward Councillors – Harry and Dorothy Trueman and Bernie Scaplehorn
INCOME AND EXPENDITURE ACCOUNT FOR
(from the Auditors Report)
THE YEAR 1ST MARCH 2017 TO FEBRUARY 28TH 2018
The Committee seeks the endorsement of residents of the way in which funds have been used to promote and uphold the aims and objectives of the Association.
Balance in bank
Carried forward 1004.87
Grants W.D.C.T 250.00
Sunderland Community Grant 530.00
Total in Treasurer Account 1393.51
Total in Funds Account 390.00
Total Funds in Bank 1783.51
NB: Funds Account – £200 carried over
-£190 donations at residents meeting