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Everything posted by _pauls

  1. Yes thanks Malcolm. I nearly fell of my chair just now when I noted that Bedlington is getting a slice of the £47m kitty for "shovel ready projects" announced to bounce back from Covid. Lets see it put to some good use now.
  2. Went on to Advance Northumberland's website today to ask them if they could update the Investing In Bedlington website and was greeted with a friendly "Chat with us" popup so I took up their invite. It took 1 hr 20 mins for anyone to reply despite it asserting that the service was online. Got through to a very surly "Greg" who clearly wasn't happy at me interrupting his Friday. He advised me he'd talk to the team and see if they had any update and would "probably" email me. It would just be nice to know whether in the 5 months since the last update, a) whether final planning permission for the revised plans from Aldi was granted back in March or if they threw up any more hurdles, b) assuming that COVID hasn't led Aldi to rethink whether the timescales of building work starting "by summer" are still valid, and c) whether any other tenants have been lured. My breath is not currently being held. I think there's a real opportunity to breathe fresh new life into towns like Bedlington over the next few months - across the country people are rethinking their priorities and deciding that they don't want to sit in cars for hours commuting into overcrowded and expensive cities any longer, and they are quite happy working from home. I work for a large organisation in Newcastle and they've said that they are happy to afford that kind of flexibility for most people. It saves them money, it saves me money, but if I'm in Bedlington every day not the city centre I want shops here in town that I can nip to. (I would say same for gymns but I'd be lying!). That's why Boris is desperate for people to go back to working in offices - because the 25-odd branches of Greggs will make no money in the city centre without the footfall of office workers, but most of the companies I talk to are not going to order everyone back to their desks. There will be no reduction in demand for shops, but where the demand is will change. Its a shame that the council/Advance Northumberland seem to have no interest in delivering even the basics let alone being creative in shaping Bedlington's future.
  3. I only noticed this for the first time yesterday - probably because of limited reasons to be passing - looks really good from the photos. I didn't realise what it was as I was driving past - its tucked out of the way a little, shame it couldn't be somewhere a bit more prominent. Very nice addition though.
  4. Three years and one month on since I started this thread and what has progressed in the intervening period? Of course COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works everywhere but it would be nice if the InvestingInBedlington.co.uk site was updated at least quarterly but yet again months upon months of silence. In February we were a couple of weeks away from a "final" planning decision. Whats more now the "Contact Us" page doesn't work and the email address bounces. Any ideas whether a) the redevelopment is still going ahead or if Aldi have thought twice and pulled the plug and b) assuming it is still going ahead... when are we going to see the first brick laid? Slightly annoying driving through Amble and seeing their shiny new Morrisons complete with Petrol Station that took around 12 months to approve, build and open while we are sat 5 years on from Arch acquiring the land in Bedlington with absolutely nothing to show for it.
  5. A pretty underwhelming update. In fact an update that doesn't actually tell us anything substantial* over the last update (from May of last year). I note "early next year" of the last update has slipped further into "summer". Would be nice to think we won't have to wait another 9 months for the next update but I won't be holding my breath. *Except that there are new trees.
  6. And when will that be? How many new houses have we had in the last 5 years with no new facilities?
  7. It will be utterly criminal if all we get is houses and a pub - Bedlington cannot simply continue expanding its population without doing anything about schools, healthcare, leisure etc.
  8. I'm honestly not a paranoid cynic or political axe grinder but this is really getting beyond a joke. I would love to believe all will turn out great but I just can't help feeling that things will stall for 6 months and then we'll be told that its all going to be turned into housing. Planning permission was granted in early 2017 and we are now into 2019 with not a stone laid for the new town centre. The "Investing in Bedlington" website which is supposed to keep us up to date only seems to be updated when I e-mail them asking for an update. It's latest news is 3 months old and has been superceded by this latest update in the local press. I really hope I am proven wrong. I moved here from out of the area 9 years ago and have seen the town gain a huge number of additional residents and seen either static provision or a decline, for retail, entertainment, schools and healthcare. If we've lost our anchor food retailer then can we not stop flogging a dead horse (after all Lidl kind of replaced Tesco) and go for something that will attract visitors to the town like a cinema, leisure centre, arts venue etc. Just please not a derelict building site or 300 new homes. I'm sure those in charge of the development have already thought of all of this but faith is wearing thin.
  9. Why am I unsurprised? https://www.newspostleader.co.uk/news/bedlington-regeneration-scheme-stalls-awaiting-tenant-approval-1-9568164
  10. According to the "Investing in Bedlington" website : "Subject to there being no challenges to the tender process we should be able to award a contract in August or the first week in September with mobilisation on site in the weeks that follow" That's a wonderful non-statement which effectively means "not before the 2nd week in September", so it could be next week or it could be in 2 years or any time in the future. Fingers crossed it is imminent as now more than 3 years since Arch acquired the land.
  11. I see that the Chronicle are reporting that the "shared" facilities at the High School are under threat of closure. Of course it looks like this is a party political argument but I recently tried to find out if it was possible to book badminton courts there so I went to their website and the timetable for bookable facilities was entirely empty. I e-mailed the contact address about 2 weeks ago and a few days later got an e-mail back saying they were looking into it. Then about three days ago I got a further e-mail saying they would get back to me when someone knew what was happening. I notice that the Investing In Bedlington website formerly had a link to the page for the sports centre but that's since been dropped from the site - presumably after I pointed out to them that it was out of date. So it seems that we had a facility that had virtually no publicity about its opening, no way of finding out about how and when we could actually use it, and now we might be losing it. Surely as local tax payers we deserve better.
  12. Sure eggs are associated with Easter - but when I was a kid in the 70s it was more about decorating and rolling real eggs - my point is that chocolate eggs are just a modern marketing gimmick.
  13. To be fair chocolate eggs have b*gger all to do with Easter really.
  14. Pleased to hear there will be an update tomorrow - I e-mailed the admins of InvestingInBedlington requesting an update last week.
  15. It may save the council some money on their lighting bill and reduce light pollution but the new lights are awful and if I was a vulnerable person I'd be extremely nervous walking on my own on Alnwick Drive/Dunstanburgh. The lights brightly illuminate the area directly beneath them but they only cover a small circle of ground making tiny islands of light in the dark rather than lighting the street as the name implies. On Dunstanburgh one of the lights near us is effectively in a tree and thus illuminates the top of the tree and virtually none of the street. It means that effectively there is a very long stretch with no lighting at all. Not great considering the number of schoolkids using the street.
  16. OK I get the justification for two lanes but why have two different surfaces? If it was just tarmac for the whole road surface it would be obvious that you could use it all. The new roundabout also (if I recall correctly) has a solid white line around the bricked area which would suggest to me that the bricked area is not part of the road surface. Just seems unnecessarily confusing, although I have heard of road schemes in town centres (on the continent) that are deliberately vague with the intention of making people think more about what they are doing and take more care rather than using autopilot and paying less attention.
  17. Can anyone explain to me the logic behind the design of the roundabouts such as the one by the police station on Schalksmuhle Rd, and particularly the new installation at the entrance to the new estate being build on the way out to Nedderton? They are clearly meant to have a single lane but the surface of the roundabout is wide enough for two, with the inner park block paved but flat to the road, and the outer part tarmac. Is the inner part for decoration or for traffic use? I genuinely don't know what bit I'm supposed to drive on outside the police station. My observation so far is that its roughly 50/50 on the latest roundabout despite the white lines which presumably indicate that you should keep off the block paving. If you aren't meant to go over the middle surely it should be built up - as it stands it will end up with the middle part sinking unevenly into ruts as traffic goes over it and it will look awful in a few years like the one near Woodhorn off the end of the spine road. Just one of the many ridiculous roundabout designs cropping up in Northumberland in the last few years (such as the one on the new estate between Laverock Farm and Blyth South Beach).
  18. Much as I hope you're right, I interpreted the comments about amending the plans as fine tuning rather than a total rethink, and given that Ashington's new leisure centre cost double what the whole project for Bedlington is costing I doubt that Arch/the council will be able to squeeze it in.
  19. I disagree... as a family we eat out once or twice a week and if we're bored of the Red Lion we go to somewhere like the Comissioners Quay in Blyth or the Snowy Owl in Cramlington, so our money goes out of Bedlington. If we had another decent family friendly pub in town we'd be less likely to head out of the town and boost the economy of another part of the area. Also on a number of occasions recently we've either not gone to the Red Lion, or have gone and then walked out because its too busy and I couldn't get a table, so I'm not sure you can say there's "just enough turnover for one". Personally I agree I'd rather have a leisure centre but we aren't getting one, but I'm happy to have more choice in terms of pubs/restaurants rather than just more houses or small retail units.
  20. I think we could do with a family friendly pub - I live within about 200 yards of the old Ridge Farm - went in maybe twice in the 5 years between us moving here and it closing. Never liked it - sterile atmosphere and very old-school food. Personally the only place we go with our daughter is the Red Lion - some competition to that would be most welcome. I wouldn't take my 10 yr old in any of the other pubs in town. As for a food retailer - the Tesco store was too small to be of any real interest to Tesco management. Now we have Lidl which is a little better in terms of size but with the drawback that most people will find it too lacking in high street brands, Morrisons which is (and always has been) hell on earth, and the Co-Op in the old Ridge Farm site which is great as an off-licence but not of any value for real food shopping. If the new food retail site is a sensible size there will be room for it to thrive - certainly alongside Lidl and the likes of the Co-Op and Londis - might spell the end for Morrisons though. I'd love a leisure centre, especially given the ridiculous prices for the "Sporting Club Bedlington" but it won't happen - I think the current proposals are as good as we're going to get - not devoted to housing and with a reasonable balance between large and small retail units and leisure.
  21. Ah yes - I left the a message on the contact us page requesting an update.
  22. Any word on whats happening at the Tesco site - last I heard there was a planning application in which was due to be heard in March but I've seen nothing since. Arch set up http://www.investinginbedlington.co.uk/ to keep us all informed about their wonderful work but the last update on the Tesco redevelopment (aside from a piece about naming the place) was back in February. I noticed when driving past the other day there are building materials stacked up in the compound - any idea whats going to be complete by when?
  23. Good to hear - I think they look great. Just as I say at the moment the effect of the train is a little diminished by the bins!
  24. I can't help wondering about the placement of the train in Attlee Park - from the road it is slap bang behind a bin, a road salt bin and a dog waste bin. Unless those are going to be moved at some point it kind of spoils the effect as you drive into the town.
  25. Any word on where this has all got to? According to the brief put forward by Arch via Northern Architecture suggested that timelines are thus : We should have a shortlist of practices based on initial submissions by now... would be nice to know what those qualifying for phase 2 are proposing
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