Grosvenor Estate Residents' Message Board

(Maintained by Robin Smith)

The message board service provider has ceased providing its service.
I will maintain the message board and if anyone wants to add information they should send it to me by email.

Next page - items 43 +


42  Date: 25 July 2010
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Spanish City Link Road - Planning Application

I have written a second letter objecting to the proposal after the "associated documents" were both added to and superceded on 9 July.
The following link provides a PDF copy of this second letter, "Spanish City Link Road - Planning Application No. 10/01335/LAREG3".
The link to the planning application documents remains as below, 10/01335/LAREG3.
41  Date: 19 June 2010
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Spanish City Link Road - Planning Application

A planning application for the link road was registered on 2 June 2010. Members of the public may assess the application through the documents available via the Planning Portal on North Tyneside Council's website- the application reference number is 10/01335/LAREG3. (Click on the reference number to go directly to the Planning Application.)
I have written a letter to the Planning Department objecting to the proposal and the following link provides a PDF copy of this letter, "Spanish City Link Road - Planning Application No. 10/01335/LAREG3".
When this note was added to the Message Board no date had been given for the Planning Committee meeting when the application will be considered - nor was there any indication when the application was to be publicised. (I discovered its existance only by searching the Planning Portal!)
I invite other residents to submit objections if they are so minded after consideration of the proposal.
40  Date: 4 December 2009
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Response to Question to NT Council (General Fund Reserves) - see item 39

‘In the 2008/09 leaflet the figure for the end of that year was obviously an estimate. The figures included in the Council tax leaflets are necessarily estimates. In practice the actual level of reserves at the end of the financial year, over a year since the original estimates were prepared, will often be somewhat different.
As stated in the question, the previous practice would have been to use that original 2008/09 estimated figure in the 2009/10 leaflet. However, there were several major factors during the year, which produced such a variation in reserve levels that the original estimates were no longer valid. An updated estimate was therefore used.
The main variations were –
• An in year change in the accounting treatment of the insurance reserve, which moved £9.9m of provisions to reserves.
• A provision of £4.6m relating to the cost of equal pay settlements was not required and was also moved to reserves.
• The Council received over £8m of Local Authority Business Growth Incentive grant, which was put directly to reserves.
• The General Fund and Schools budgets underspend of £2.6m was also put directly to reserves. Other movements to and from reserves made up the difference.
In summary the changes arose from a change in accounting treatment, the transfer to reserves of money no longer needed, and a much larger than anticipated grant award. All these items were in the order of several millions of pounds each and completely changed the picture on reserve levels since the original estimate was made.
Hence the revised figure used in the leaflet. These changes, incidentally, were clearly set out in the papers accompanying the Council’s 2007/08 and 2008/09 accounts’.
Extracted from minutes of full Council meeting on 19 November, 2009.
39  Date: 4 November 2009
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Question to NT Council (General Fund Reserves)

Below is the text of a question, submitted yesterday, for the full council meeting on 19 November, 2009. A similar question was put to Mayor Harrison in March but received an unsatistisfacory reply in May before the changeover to Mayor Arkley's administration.
I have kept copies of the Council Tax booklets that accompany Council Tax demands for the last 13 years. In this year's booklet (09/10) the "General Fund Reserves" quoted for the year 08/09 is given as £47.782 million but in last year's booklet as £19.154 million (for 08/09). In all other booklets that I have checked the figure for the previous year's "General Fund Reserves" is identical to the estimate that was given in the booklet issued for the previous year. The increase of some £28.6 million from last year's end of financial year estimate to that for the start of this year is unprecedented.
How did this enormous increase in estimated reserves come about and why has there been a change from the usual practice in the statement of "General Fund Reserves" in the Council Tax booklets?
I have received an aknowledgement from a Democratic Support Officer advising that the question, with other questions, "will be referred to the Chair of the Council who will consult with the Chief Executive and Head of Legal, Governance and Commercial Services to consider whether they meet the scope for public questions as set out in the Council Procedure Rules contained within the Constitution."
38  Date: 15 March 2009
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Area Futures Event 16 December 2008

Responses to most of the questions raised in advance of the event were received on 9 March 2009. These are given in blue under item 37 below. Those that have not been answered are highlighted in red!
37  Date: 28 November 2008
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Questions for Area Futures Meeting on 16 December 2008

There is an Area Futures meeting for the NE area due in December to which I have been invited. The booking form includes a section, "If you have any questions for the team, please write it (sic) in the box". As the box is too small for my several questions I have sent the booking form details and questions in two sucessive e-mail messages earlier this week. The questions are: -
  • What is the total (cumulative) debt that is owed by North Tyneside Council and how has it changed year by year since 2001/2 to 2008/9?
  • What is the total of the PFI lease payments that North Tyneside Council is required to pay this year (2008/9)?
  • The payments (excluding VAT) that we expect to make on PFI and Local Investment Finance Trust (LIFT) schemes are as follows:

    Schools PFI £4.468m
    Street lighting PFI £4.744m
    Dudley/Shiremoor Joint Service Centre (LIFT) £0.908m.
    The amounts quoted above are the gross payments payable, i.e. they do not take into account the PFI credits we receive from central government to support these schemes. The total amount is therefore expected to be £10.120m. The actual amount may differ if deductions are made due to the operators performance (in line with the contractually agreed payment mechanism) and due to energy price changes (for the street lighting scheme).
  • Who are in the team and what are their responsibilities?
  • Was the 17 September Area Futures event in Shiremoor a success and where is the report on it? (Not available on the NTC website.)
  • Any event that provides an opportunity for our residents to engage with the Council providing them with information about our plans but also encouraging them to share their views on those proposals is valued. The people who attended were able to give some very useful feedback on area planning, decent neighbourhood standards and what the future management of culture and leisure services. That will help shape the future area plans and feed into the future provision of council services. We have reviewed the Area Futures Events listening to what our residents tell us about how the council needs to improve its engagement and in this round of Area Futures have tried a different approach, giving residents a chance to raise the issues which matter to them.
  • £60 million has been invested in the regeneration of the Whitley Bay area and coast. Can you please provide the details of the major components of this investment, their locations, the sums invested and when each component investment was completed?
  • Why are there Area Forums in the North Shields and Wallsend areas and none this year in the Whitley Bay and North West areas, bearing in mind that Area Forums are featured in the Council's Constitution?
  • The Whitley Bay Area Forum last met on 10th March 2008. There have been no meetings for the Whitley Bay Area Forum since then, as no proposed items for the agenda have been received. However the Chair recently suggested holding a single item forum on the Regeneration of Whitley Bay, the relevant officers have been informed and we are awaiting further information from the Chair in order to make the necessary arrangements.
  • Can you please provide the numbers of equivalent D-band (Council Tax) residences for the years from 2001/2002 to 2009/2010 inclusive used in the calculation of Council Tax? (By what percent based on the 2001/2002 figure has the figure for 2009/2010 increase?)
  • The Band D Council Tax Figures used for the Council Tax calculation for each year from 2001/02 to 2009/10 are as follows:

    2001/02 59,960
    2002/03 60,550
    2003/04 60,779
    2005/06 61,803
    2006/07 62,282
    2007/08 62,730
    2008/09 63,149
    2009/10 63,233

    The Cumulative increase from 2001/02 to 2009/10 is 5.46%.

  • What is the total number of registered, motorised vehicles in North Tyneside and the average number/household - or equivalent D-band household? How does this vary over the 4 Areas? How many households have 1, 2 and 3 registered vehicles in North Tyneside as a whole and in each of the Areas?
  • Data from neighbourhoodstatistics. gov. uk  
  • Car ownership in North Tyneside

    Area Forum

    North East

    North West

    South East

    South West

    North Tyneside

    No. of Households with no cars or vans






    No. of Households with one car or van






    No. of Households with two cars or vans






    No. of Households with three cars or vans






    No. of Households with four or more cars or vans






    Total Households






    No cars or vans






    One car or van






    Two cars or vans






    Three cars or vans






    Four or more cars or vans






  • How many drainage gulleys are there in North Tyneside that the Council is responsible for maintaining and what is the strategy for clearing them? Who is responsible for clearing the pipes immediately downstream of these gulleys?
  • There are approximately 33,000 road gullies within North Tyneside and approximately a further 1000 footway gullies. Who is responsible for them depends on whether the gully discharges into a public sewer, which would be maintained by NWL or a Highway Drain, which would be maintained by the council. Therefore this can only be answered on a case-by-case situation.
  • Are the responsible council officers aware that fallen leaves at this time of year are the main cause of blockages of gulleys if not cleared away before rainfall?
  • Clean Neighbourhoods are aware of issues relating to leaves and for this reason brought in an additional 2 mechanical sweeping vehicles from October 2008 to January this year. These vehicles concentrated on clearing leaves from across the borough and complemented the existing fleet of street cleaning vehicles. At the same time, we also ran an Autumn Campaign, which focussed on the removal of leaves and litter from across the borough. Neighbourhood services are responsible for clearing fallen leaves and yes they are aware of problems caused by them and try there utmost to keep the channel area clear during the autumn months.
  • Why haven't the fallen leaves in St. Paul's church yard been removed for at least the last 3 years, when the Council is responsible for the church yard's maintenance under the 1906 "Open Spaces" act?
If I get answers I will post them on the Message Board.
36  Date: 18 February 2008
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Residents' Only Parking

I have only recently received an update, from a resident of Kings Drive, about what went on in Kings Drive towards the end of last year. A letter was sent to all households in Kings Drive by Kevin Ridpath (Engineering Services Manager of Highways and Transportation, NTMBC) asking for views on a proposal to introduce a Business Permit Parking scheme within Kings Drive.
I'm glad to say that the response from the residents was typically robust. As well as individual letters from residents rejecting the idea of anything other than residents' only parking in Kings Drive, a petition against the idea was organised. In 3 days 35 signatures were gathered from residents in the street which has 19 households (one property being empty at the time).
The proposal was by the local Chamber of Trade and is backed by local councillors. The letter from Mr. Ridpath was followed up by a special "Intouch" leaflet from Cllr. McIntyre. I have since written to Mr Ridpath suggesting that Business Permits be extended only to the "main shopping frontage" of Park View and Whitley Road; and that none should be allowed in residential streets throughout Whitley Bay, including the 'back lanes' at the rear of residential properties.
35  Date: 9 February 2008
Robin Smith ( wrote:

YMCA Site Planning Application for Category 2 Sheltered Housing (see item 32)

The second of the full planning applications by McCarthy & Stone was refused by the Council's Planning Committee (unanimously) and went to appeal. The appeal was heard over 2 days, starting on 4 December 2007. The formal Appeal Decision was issued in January. The appeal was dismissed. A copy of the inspector's report is available on request.
It is likely that the prospective developers will submit a new planning application with a modifed design.
35  Date: 9 February 2008
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Update on Parking (continued - see items 33 and 34)

Following the meeting with Council Officers at Killingworth there was a further exchange of correspondence and this included a detailed response to my complaint about the lack of response to my submission on the Draft Parking Strategy proposals. As it is requires a lot of hard work by me to summarise this I have given the complete text (in PDF) of the document that I submitted to Cllr. McGarr late October 2007 with a request that the Traffic Regulation Order of May 2006 be fully implemented (thus making all 3 streets in the Grosvenor Estate residents only parking).
34  Date: 8 February 2008
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Update on Parking (see item 33)

I had a meeting with Mr Cowey and Mr Flynn at Killingworth Council offices on the 26 September, 2007. I summarised that meeting in an email sent later that same day: -
"You advised me that there had been an error in the April 2007 TRO re Kings Drive and that had been correct in the actual TRO issued post the Planning Committee meeting that I attended. The signage and time limits of 8 am to 6 pm, Monday to Saturday is now correct and as intended.
You also advised me that the current signage for the east end of Grosvenor Drive (from its junction with Marden Road to its Junction with Kings Drive is incorrect; a TRO will be issued to return the limits to 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.
In connection with the 'engagement' of "Resident Permit Holders" as indicated on the plan for engagement, published on the Council's website, I noted that 'consult' is not a synonym for engage. I also expressed my view that letters delivered to local residents should also have been delivered to those in in the permit holders only area of Grosvenor Drive as they are effected by traffic flows influenced by parking conditions in the remainder of the 3 streets.
You explained that consultation was based on those streets that would be directly effected by the proposals for short, medium and long stay zones described in the Draft Parking Strategy Report. Similar letters had been distributed throughout the Borough with appropriate references to short, medium and long stay zones.
You will supply me with the figures requested for the Grosvenor Estate streets per questions 5 and 6 of my earlier e-mail to you."
At the same meeting I referred to the lack of response to a submission that I had made about the Draft Parking Strategy,when I naively thought that 'engageement' with residents meant something more than sending letters with an invitation to fill in a form giving "Hobson's Choice"!
33  Date: 15 September 2007
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Draft Parking Strategy - No letter?! (See item 31)

If you did not get a letter it is because you live at the east end of Grosvenor Drive. It seems at the last moment the 'engagement' of resident permit holders actually meant 'residents near the town centre in potential medium stay parking areas (as defined in the Draft Parking Strategy Report) who were not already in a permit holders only street'.

This definition included the unrestricted stretch of Grosvenor Drive (where there are no permit holders) and it appears that the majority of those who responded to the the question - would you like charged parking (i.e. ticket machines) with permit holders exemptions? - ticked the box on the reply sheet that indicated, "Yes"!

What you should have done is declare that you wanted permit holders only throughout the Grosvenor Estate, even through this was not an option!

I am following up the unsatisfactory manner in which residents were consulted about the Draft Parking Strategy with NT Council with a view to getting residents permit holders only scheme for which a Traffic Regulation Order was issued in May last year (2006) - SEE ITEM 20 BELOW.
The TRO was issued after the meeting in the YMCA in February 2006 set up by residents in the west end of Grosvenor Drive and after consulation by the Council with all residents in the Grosvenor Estate, who confirmed they wanted permit holders only scheme throughout the 3 streets (and without ticket machines).
Because of opposition from the Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade a decision on the permit holders only part of the TRO was deferred until after the consultation on the Draft Parking Strategy. The associated part of the same TRO dealing with double yellow lining of the road junctions was implemented.

I will update you via this message board when I get some more information from NTMBC!
32  Date: 2007-07-13 12:35:25
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Development of ex YMCA Site (see also items 26, 25 and 23 below)

The prospective developer, McCarthy & Stone, has submitted a new, full planning application (07/01960/FUL). At the same time they have put in an appeal against the refusal of the the earlier full planning application (07/00280/FUL).

From discussion with a Councillor of another local authority it is the usual practice for McCarthy & Stone to submit an outline plan for a modest proprosal and then submit a full appplication of double the size. Evidence obtained from the Internet and other sources indicates that. if the full application is refused, and the appeal against the refusal is NOT upheld, the next step is an appeal to the high court!

The minor modifications in the recently submitted application are - the addition of 1 parking space - 2 no. additional 1-bedroom flats in place of 2 no. 2-bedroom flats - a slight reduction in the footprint of the building and in the width of the 4-storey element on the south elevation.

The grounds for our objections still apply but there is a danger of the local authority planners buckling under the pressure from the prospective developer. So it is essential that we continue to get objections submitted, again, even though the grounds are the same.

It is now possible to submit comments via NTMBC's Planning website. Get the planning application up on the screen and you will find an invitation to submit comments near the top. There is a drop-down menu of objections and you can select several of these as you wish by holding down the "Ctrl" key. You can then submit comments of up to 1000 characters.

If you wish to contact me by telephone - use 2513104 (not the number under item 24).

31  Date: 2007-07-09 14:01:48
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Draft Parking Strategy

All resident permit holders will get a letter soon from NTMBC as part of the 'engagement' in consultation on the Draft Parking Strategy 2007 - 2011.
I suggest you also take the opportunity, in response to the letter, to raise the issue of residents' only permit parking in the whole of the Grosvenor Estate as well as the recent signage that limits the current restrictions to 8am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday only.

30  Date: 2007-05-08 16:52:30
Robin Smith ( wrote:

More on Parking!

Extract from email (27 April, 2007) from Council Officer in the Development Directorate (in response to my letter - item 29), referring to the Grosvenor Estate: -
A report will be prepared for cabinet in July with proposals and timescales. It is likely that we will be introducing some form of residents permit scheme to the area however it may be a mixed use scheme allowing motorists into the area who purchase tickets. This however will be a decision made by cabinet after consultation with the residents and consideration of the survey information.
This would mean the introduction of ticket machines and thus encouragement of non-resident parking in the area.
Incidentally, the Draft Parking Strategy report (see item 24 below - copy can now be found in the local library) does not refer to additional yellow lining that will certainly be introduced to stop free parking on roads near the Grosvenor Estate (for example, Norham Road).

29  Date: 2007-04-24 14:49:59
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Update on Parking (Part 2)- TROs Issued 5 April 2007

The following is the text of a submission on the TROs in a letter to Dave Parkin at the Town Hall, Wallsend (see also item 20 below about the earlier TRO referred to in the letter): -
Dear Mr Parkin,

Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) Issued 5 April 2007

We object to these TROs as they affect Whitley Bay on the following grounds: -

They do not reflect the TRO issued 18 May 2006 for the streets of Grosvenor Drive, Kings Drive and Queens Drive (the Grosvenor Estate) for residents' only permit scheme area.

The details in Plan WHITRES/005 do not show the correct residents' only area of the earlier referred to TRO, nor the current permit holders' only restrictions, nor that covered by paragraph 4 (f) and the schedule referred to by this paragraph in the TROs published in the Whitley Bay News Guardian of 5 April 2007.

The earlier TRO followed consultation with the residents of the Grosvenor Estate, Ward Councillors and the Chamber of Trade during February 2006. Residents were overwhelming in favour of a residents' only permit scheme as they were some 20 years ago when the Grosvenor Estate Residents Association was formed largely in response to Highway Engineers proposal for the 3 streets.

The enclosed copy of a letter, incorrectly dated 5 May 2006 (should have been 5 June), to the News Guardian was also submitted to the Town Hall in support of the case for the residents' permit only scheme. This is now re-submitted in opposition to the recent TROs. The schedule referred to by paragraph 4 (f) provides a list of 'back lanes', also shown on Plans WHITRES/001-4. The Grosvenor Estate comprises residential streets without retail businesses but has no equivalent to the back lanes of other residential areas referred to in the schedule.

In the recent TROs there is nothing about line markings on roadsides - single and double yellow lines - near the Grosvenor Estate area. If these are introduced where they do not currently exist (as indicated to me during a visit for discussion with a Council Officer at the Killingworth Site, 18 April 2007) they will have an adverse effect on the traffic problems arising from non-residents using the Grosvenor Estate as a place to park for shopping expeditions, for retail business employees and commuters. Currently there are long lengths on the north side of Norham Road, starting near the junction with Kings Drive, and along the Monkseaton Metro side of Norham Road, starting near the junction with the west end of Grosvenor Drive. Much of this space is filled from morning to early evening, indicating it is being used by retail businesses in the town centre and commuters using the Metro system.

Details of all waiting restrictions such as those I have referred to, which are omitted from the 5 April TROs, are essential for the engagement of residents in the consideration of the "Draft Parking Strategy 2005-2011" report that is understood to be open for consultation until (the end of) June 2007.

Dave Parkin
Legal and Democratic Services
Town Hall
High Street East
NE28 7RR

The letter has been sent to Mr Parkin as an attachment to an email. This thanks him, and the other, un-named Council Officer referred to, for their help in getting at relevant information.

28  Date: 2007-04-23 14:28:16
Robin Smith ( ) wrote:

Update on Parking (Part 1)- Traffic Regulation Order 5 April 2007 (further update to follow tomorrow)

The deadline for objections is 29 April 2007 - please see last paragraph for basic reason for objection!
The following is the text of an email to a Council Officer (Highways & Transportation Department) at the Killingworth (Block A) Site, following a visit last Wednesday: -

First of all, thank you for your time in discussion with me at the Killingworth Site (Block A) on Wednesday last afternoon (18 April) on the issues of parking arising from the recently posted (literally!) Traffic Regulation Orders. As promised here are some notes as a follow-up with specific requests for information (in bold).

All the public notices that I have seen about the Traffic Regulation Orders indicate that the details may be viewed at the Town Hall in Wallsend. I went to the Town Hall on Wednesday and was told that there was no Plan WHITRES/001-005 (or Plans for other town centres) at the Town Hall and was given your name and telephone number. Subsequent to my telephone call to you I came to the Killingworth Site to view the missing plans; that for Whitley Bay in particular. In the event you showed me a draft drawing that you told me was incorrect in a number of respects, covering the streets of Grosvenor Drive, Kings Drive and Queens Drive (the "Grosvenor Estate").

Even bearing in mind the high workload on Council Officers at the Killingworth Site it is still very unsatisfactory that such an important set of Traffic Regulation Orders do not have an a set of correct Plans that can be checked and commented upon by residents and traders in North Tyneside that are directly affected by them.

I am aware of the Draft Parking Strategy Report of December 2006 that refers to 6 months public consultation and view the recently published Traffic Regulation Orders as part of this consultation. I am also aware of meetings held with local Chambers of Trades in consultation - but I am not aware of any consultation of residents that has taken place, or that is proposed during the remainder of the period up to June. How are residents to be consulted on the Draft Parking Strategy?

In our discussion I referred to a Traffic Regulation Order (18 May 2006) covering the Grosvenor Estate area and junctions with adjoining roads. In a report for Planning by Kevin Ridpath, dated 31 October 2005, it was recommended that the part dealing with residents only permits be deferred but that on waiting restrictions at junctions (double yellow lines) be implemented "in the interests of highway safety". (This has not yet been done.) In this report there is a reference to a Parking Survey (paragraph 4.3). I would like a copy of the report of this survey to allow residents in the Grosvenor Estate to assess its validity in the light of the special circumstances applying to our area that I covered in a submission to the Town Hall in response to the 18 May Order. This submission outlined the case for residents only parking throughout the Grosvenor Estate area, but was not referred to in Kevin Ridpath's report. Do you have a copy of this submission on file?

In discussion over the draft plan/drawing you referred to double yellow lines being introduced from the junction of the west end of Grosvenor Drive, along the Norham Road, past Monkseaton Metro station, to the junction with Marine Avenue - and to another length of Norham Road from its junction with Park View. I cannot recall seeing a Traffic Regulation Order on this and if it exists, I would like a copy as it may have an influence on the residents' case for residents' only parking throughout the Grosvenor Estate. Road markings have not been implemented yet and I wish any submission on the Draft Parking Strategy report - and on the recent Traffic Regulation Orders - that I wish to make is informed by details that should be on the final version of the Plan WHITRES/001-005. To this end, I ask for a paper copy of the Plan that I suggest you/your colleagues mark up (by hand or otherwise) with corrections. In addition I ask for an extension of two weeks subsequent to the receipt of the draft/corrected Plan to allow for preparation of my comments and of those of any other residents who may wish to comment on the 5 April Traffic Regulation Orders.

Please find 4 photographs attached in one graphics file. They illustrate current parking on streets near to the Grosvenor Estate - from Grosvenor Drive (east end) up Marden Road (DSCF1908), along Norham Road from the junction with Kings Drive (1909), along the same side of Norham Road from near the west end junction with Grosvenor Drive towards the junction with Kings Drive and Park View (1910) and from similar viewpoint along Norham Road to Monkseaton Station and Marine Avenue (1911).

Thank you again for your help on Wednesday last. I understood that you were fairly new to the work in the Highways & Transportation Department. I hope you will find it both challenging and rewarding!

I have since (earlier today) obtained some paper copies of relevant documents after a further visit to the Town Hall, including incorrect plans for the Grosvenor Estate area. I was advised by a Council Officer at the Town Hall that objections/observations on the Traffic Regulation orders should be submitted by this Friday (29 April) as there was to be a Planning Committee meeting on 1 May!
By far the simplest statement of objection is that details in the recent Traffic Regulation Order for the Grosvenor Estate do not implement the scheme for Residents' only Permits as envisaged in the Traffic Regulation Order issued 18 May 2006. The earlier Traffic Regulation Order followed consulation by the Council with residents, who overwhelmingly supported the proposal.

27  Date: 2007-04-17 14:53:47
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Parking - Traffic Regulation Order

For the latest traffic regulation order use the following link (copy and paste it from this note)
This page does not include the schedule or maps - these have to be viewed at the Town Hall (Wallsend)! This version is the same as that tied to lamp posts but the lamp post version includes the Schedule.

Objections and observations must be sent in by 29 April 2007!

26  Date: 2007-04-17 14:06:40
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Development of ex YMCA Site (see also 23 and 25 below)

At the NTMBC Planning Committee meeting on Monday 16th of April the McCarthy & Stone application was refused, as recommended in the Planning Officer's report. The 4 basic reasons for refusal included: -

3. The design by reason of its size, massing, scale and density would result in a poor layout and inadequate design and unacceptable relationship with its surroundings, out of character with the area, contrary to PPS3 Housing and North Tyneside Unitary Development Plan Policies H5, H11 and H12.

4. The development will lead to additional vehicles parking on the adjacent highway,to the detriment of road safety and would be contrary to North Tyneside Unitary Development Plan policy H16.

A revised application is to be expected. I spoke at the meeting and also to the McCarthy & Stone representative (privately), advising him that our preference was for something similar to the scheme described in the earlier outline planning application for 14 appartments and 2 town houses.

I also ensured that copies of my submission in response to the more recent application for 34 flats were circulated to all Planning Committee members at the same time as the officer's report.

25  Date: 2007-03-03 11:23:20
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Whitley Bay YMCA Site - Housing Development (see also entry 23 below)

The (new) Planning Application (07/00280/FUL) should be rejected on the following grounds: -

The number of apartments now proposed (34) is well over that suitable for the site, bearing in mind its size (0.25 hectare) and location.

The access road from Grosvenor Drive to the main site is very narrow and the only access route to the site for traffic to and from the site during demolition, building works and subsequent occupation of the dwellings. Access to the town centre and local transport is not convenient for elderly people as claimed by the applicant in submissions.

The number of proposed spaces for parking (14) is too small, even if the number of apartments were changed back to that of the earlier scheme (14) proposed in the Outline Planning Application (06/01238/OUT). Grosvenor Drive has a residents' only parking scheme so assumptions about there being nearby parking in local streets are not justified.

The above is a summary of a written submission # to NTMBC Planning Department that expands on these objections. (Smith to Development Control, dated 2 March 2007 - ref. "PlanningYMCA2.doc".)

(# Full copy available on request.)

24  Date: 2007-01-29 14:02:38
Robin Smith ( wrote:

More on Parking!

Over the next 6 months there is supposed to be a consulation ("public engagement") on the Council's draft parking strategy - see below. I am concerned that that the GERA area will once again come under pressure to be made into a 'medium term' shoppers' parking resource so I am canvassing opinion from residents. What are your views? Can you see any justification for deviating from the principles laid out in the GERA report of nearly 20 years ago? (Go back to the Message Board "Home" page - link at bottom of this page - to get at a copy of the report.)

Please contact me by email or by 'phone (2513105) with your views.

The following has been taken from NTMBC website and was news published on 20 December 2006: -

Talking to the public on parking

North Tyneside Council is about to start discussions with residents and businesses over a comprehensive parking strategy for the borough.

The strategy will look at how car parking can help to minimise congestion and increase the vitality of town centres. Cabinet approval has been given for a six-month public engagement on proposals. This will start mid-January.

The aim of the strategy is to balance the needs of business, pedestrians, residents, shoppers, commuters, cyclists and disabled people.

It will ensure a turnover of vehicles in town centres to encourage shoppers who would find it easier to locate parking spaces. In residential areas near to town centres the introduction of more free residential parking permits would be considered.

Business permits are also being introduced on a trial basis to encourage business users to make the most of long-term parking.

More bus priority measures are being considered along with cycle lanes and off-street cycle parking. Plus there will be greater provision for disabled parking.

Cllr Dave McGarr, Cabinet member for transport says it is important that the council is able to minimise congestion and make our town centres more viable.

"North Tyneside will become responsible for all parking in the borough next April when decriminalisation comes into effect."

"This means that for the first time we can have an effective parking policy which can actually help free up town centre space for shoppers, move long-stay commuter parking out of our town centres and residential areas, improve safety for pedestrians and encourage people to modify their travel so they consider alternatives to the car."

"It also means we can treat all our towns equally and fairly. At the moment very different parking policies operate in each of our main town centres and there is no logic or justice to this."

"For instance in some of town centres there is free parking which is actually counter-productive in terms of encouraging shoppers because people park all day and shoppers are driven away because there is nowhere to park."

"We want our parking policy to be flexible and for this reason we will review it every year and see if it can be improved further."

Cllr McGarr will lead the engagement process which will involve the public, North Tyneside Coalition for Disabled People, North Tyneside Cycling Forum, North Tyneside strategic partnership, Chambers of Trade, emergency services and Nexus.

A draft parking strategy, which will form the basis for discussion will be available in the New Year in all the council's libraries and customer service facilities and on the council's website:

Once the consultation is completed recommendations will be brought back for a decision by cabinet.

The draft parking strategy is in a report to Cllr McGarr by Ken Wilson and is dated 12 December 2006 for the Cabinet Meeting of the same date.

23  Date: 2006-12-01 12:40:55
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Whitley Bay YMCA Site - Housing Development

The Outline Planning Application for 14 appartments and 2 town houses was discussed at the NTMBC September Planning Committee meeting and the Committee accepted it subject to the provision of further information. Details, according to the the normal Planning process, would be covered by "Reserved Matters" and interested parties such as local residents will be informed when the detailed plans are submitted to allow further comments and objections, as appropriate.

However, McCarthy & Stone have arranged individual meetings (held on 29 December)with residents and revealed plans for 34 (thirty four) appartments!!! They had not informed NTMBC Planners of these new plans (I checked with the Planning Officer). We are still recovering from the shock!

(Sorry about typo errors below, despite the advice at top of this page!)

22  Date: 2006-12-01 12:21:53
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Witley Bay Area Forum - Agenda

The agenda for the Forum to be held on 4 December 2006 is: -

Working Closer with communities - the evolution of Area Forums
Parking Study Group - Update
Whitley Bay Town Centre
"Open" Discussion

Despite the announcement at earlier Area Forums that there will be no more, all 4 areas in North Tyneside are having Forums in December.
The Mayor is expected to attend and account for what he and the Chief Executive have been up to!
(See below for venue and time.)

21  Date: 2006-11-16 10:10:01
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Area Forums and Parking in Whitley Bay Town Centre

The last Whitley Bay Area Forum was held in the Playhouse on 30 October 2006. According to the notes issued subsequently there were 27 members of the public. The majority of these were actually local traders and hoteliers and they attended to lobby against parking meters allegedly proposed for on-street parking, particular in Park View, where a petition had been organised to object. The petition was handed over to the Chairman of the Forum, Cllr. Hugh Jackson. Council officers gave a presentation about Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE), due to be introduced throughout North Tyneside, starting in April 2007.
Council officers stated there were no proposals to introduce Parking Meters (or Parking Ticket machines - there are no Parking Meters anywhere in North Tyneside). However they stated that they were working on a strategy document for consideration by the Cabinet. A booklet on the DPE scheme has been produced and copies were available to those who attended the Forum. There is also a report available, which can be downloaded from the NTMBC Website, that was accepted by the Cabinet in September last year. The report can be found by doing a search using "Ridpath" (Mr Ridpath is the officer responsible) and looking for a report dated 20 September 2005. It includes a financial assessment, in an appendix, based on how many Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) are issued each working day per Parking Attendant(PA). (A printed copy of this report can also be found in Whitley Bay library.)
The Whitley Bay Forum of 30 October was said to be the last one at the previous Forum but as a result of protests about there being no explanation as to why the Forums are to be killed off there is to be at least one more. This is to be held in the Playhouse on 4 December 2006 (starting 6.30 pm) and the Mayor, John Harrison will be there to explain and account for what is going on!

20  Date: 2006-06-04 11:30:21
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Parking in the Grosvenor Estate Area

Not all residents may be aware that there was a Traffic Regulation Order advertisement placed by NTMBC in the Whitley Bay Guardian on 18 May 2006 (page 41). This covered in detail the modifications to waiting restrictions in all 3 streets so that a Permit Holders only scheme would come into operation, following due evaluation of any objections.

Having discovered this notice only through the reference to it in last week's Guardian (1 June 2006) in a front page article on the local traders' opposition to the move, I have checked the details by a walk through of the streets concerned.

Residents should note that there is no reference to permits being restricted to residents! The relevant proposal in the 1988 GERA report (page 11) was: -

Permit holders only parking throughout the Grosvenor Estate, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Only residents to be eligible to hold permits, with the number of permits per dwelling to be equal to the number of vehicles registered at that dwelling plus one, for residents' visitors' parking.

It is only recently (within the last 18 months) that permits for local businesses were withdrawn, mainly as a result of objections from residents (not only in our area). It is always possible that these permits could be re-introduced. Residents need to be wary that local councillors may succumb to pressure from the vested interests of local businesses to re-introduce them! DON'T LET THEM DO IT!

19  Date: 2006-03-01 12:29:59
Doug Reed ( / no homepage) wrote:

Pleased to see that there are to be no ticket machines for parking in Grosvenor Drive. I originally was not in favour of resident permits either as it resticts the number of visitors you can have. However at the Monkseaton end of Grosvenor Drive residents are finding that increasing numbers of residents from Norham Rd, Warkworth Ave and Percy Ave. are using Grosvenor Drive to park their vehicles. Permits would stop this I imagine. I would definately like to see the bays removed though as since they put one outside of my house, if there are vehicles parked both sides of the raod I can no longer exit my drive in the direction of Monkseaton. I have also witnessed trucks unable to pass. When this happens they either have to reverse out (very risky) or they simply stand still and sound their horns until somebody appears and moves a vehicle.
If the Council did something about the lights in the town centre it would help reduce traffic using the road as well. I would suggest removing the lights at the junction of Park Ave and York Rd as there is no real reason for them to be there now. They simply obstruct traffic travelling towards the sea front and create a backlog. I also suggest replacing the lights at the junction of Whitley Rd and Park Ave with a roundabout. This would allow a much improved flow of traffic through the junction.

18  Date: 2006-02-27 14:49:33
Councillor Dave McGarr ( / no homepage) wrote:

Ticket Machines in the Grosvenor Estate is madness.I can assure you that I am against this and have kicked it into touch. I do not know who is trying to revive it or why, but belief me, it is dead.Dave McGarr Cabinet Member for Transport

17  Date: 2006-02-27 13:52:41
Sandra Graham ( / no homepage) wrote:

28 February and 1 March: 1pm- 8pm - Whitley Bay Leisure Pool

Regeneration proposals on show and council officers there to explain the plans. Do attend and make you views known.

16  Date: 2006-02-24 15:36:18
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Parking in the Grosvenor Estate

Residents should have received notification by now of the proposal for residents-only permits from Mike Cowey (council officer), but there is no mention of the proposed introduction of paid-for parking for others!

The idea of introducing ticket machines was raised on the agenda for a Whitley Bay Parking Strategy Group meeting in December 2004. I thought this idea had been firmly kicked into the long grass when the 1988 GERA report was circulated at the meeting, including a copy given to council officers. Residents should read section 9.2 on page 11 of the GERA report that is available on the local page. The proposal by residents then was for PERMIT HOLDERS ONLY PARKING THROUGHOUT THE GROSVENOR ESTATE.

On page 2 of this week's News Guardian (23 February 2006) there is a report of another meeting last week (in addition to the one on Thursday in the YMCA) between three residents and officers of North Tyneside MBC. The latter talked of a parking scheme being introduced 'similar to schemes introduced elsewhere in the borough' and a resident is said to be pleased to hear of this! They are not representative of residents as a whole.

The arguments against parking, paid for or not, by non-residents, other than resident's visitors are spelled out in full in the GERA report. Residential areas such as ours are not suitable for casual parking for visitors to the town centre.

15  Date: 2006-02-19 20:09:10
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Parking in Grosvenor Drive

There was a meeting in the YMCA last Thursday on problems on parking in Grosvenor Drive west. This was organised by residents with the help of the Labour Listens Team who invited the Lead Cabinet member for transport, Cllr Dave McGarr.

There are no parking restrictions in GD west and residents complained of being unable to get access to drives because of local trader's employees, among others, parking their cars there most of the day. There was also the problem of large vehicles getting through, similar to that experienced in GD east, which residents have avoided by parking with their vehicles with two wheels on the pavement- see below!

I noted that the rules for issuing permits to residents has changed recently to that proposed in the report by GERA on parking in the Estate. The same report advocated permit holders only parking throughout the Grosvenor Estate. This idea was again suggested to Cllr McGarr.

A copy of the GERA report is to be found on the LOCAL web page associated with this message board. Printed copies of this report were handed to Councillors, Council officers and local trader representatives at the only Whitley Bay Parking Strategy Group meeting that I got to attend, in December 2004!

14  Date: 2006-02-16 13:27:13
Robin Smith ( wrote:


This is advertised as a topic on the agenda of the Area Forum on 20 February 2006 at the Whitley Bay Playhouse, starting 6:30 pm.

(I am pleased to note that at least one person in addition to me looks at this page occasionally!)

13  Date: 2006-02-16 13:14:15
Robin Smith (No. 15 GD) ( wrote:

In connection with the east end of Grosvenor Drive, this is something that has come up in past years. I recall that it was said to be possible for a fire tender to get by even with cars parked within the white lines that were once marked on the roads. In practice those who park their cars with wheels over the pavement in the east end of Grosvenor Drive do so to reduce the risk of their cars being scraped by vehicles being driving by unskilled drivers who are unable to accurately judge the width of their vehicle and the gap it has to pass through! The presence of vehicle parked on both sides does tend to slow the through traffic!

12  Date: 2005-11-18 12:47:37
Doug Reed ( / no homepage) wrote:

Anybody concerned about street access for Fire Services , trucks etc. since the Council painted parking bays on the road? Prior to the appearance of the bays people used to park with their wheels on the curb, now they tend not to and when two cars are parked opposite each other there is barely enough space to get a car past, let alone a Fire Truck.

11  Date: 2004-03-02 21:22:14
Robin Smith ( no email / no homepage) wrote:

Message Boards

This message board remains for public use - but I don't think there are many people reading it - still less anyone but me putting messages on it!

I have now created a message board of my own - go to the Local page for links to it.

If you want to send an email to make comments, please put the words Grosvenor Estate in the subject line. This will help me pick it out from the daily load of SPAM that I am getting.

10  Date: 2003-11-16 16:40:25
Robin Smith ( no email / wrote:

Area Forums

The agenda that I publicised for the 3rd Area Forum was changed at the last minute by removing the item about the latest Whitley Bay Regeneration proposals and substituting one about the Environment (to do with deciding what to spend the sum of 60,000 pounds on - see earlier note) without any explanation offered by the Chairman other than they had all been described in a recent News Guardian article. Rather than repeat what I wrote to the News Guardian about this and the manner in which the Whitley Bay Regeneration Steering Group had been treated please see a copy of my letter can be downloaded from the Local Information Page.

Whitley Bay Regeneration

The Places for People proposals were put on display later for several hours in the Playhouse and can also be seen now onthe Consult Whitley Bay website. While I want to see the Spanish City Island 'regenerated' it is apparent that the development consortium (based on Developer No. 3 from the earlier proposals) has an eye to exploitation of the housing market and the proposed number of houses/appartments has been increased from 327 to 403. Much of the land for the proposed housing is owned NT Council.The increase in housing is very nearly the same as the number of appartments/houses proposed on Whitley Park. I would rather there were no housing on Whitley Park and it's amenity value is extended to include the are covered by the present library and car park, if the library really has to be moved.

My reference to Councillors being incompetant in my letter is rather generous. I am beginning to think like another recent correspondent to the News Guardian - that the consultations that have been claimed as part of the openness and transpanancy claimed as a benefit of Area Committees (or Area Forums as they are being called) is merely a smokescreen for decisions made by a caucus of councillors behind the scenes.

It looks as if the Whitley Bay Regeneration Steering Group has been wound up - but nobody has bothered to tell the members!

9  Date: 2003-09-11 20:17:49
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Whitley Bay Area Forum

The next Whitley Bay Area Forum is to be held in the Whitley Bay Playhouse Theatre on Monday, 29 September 2003 from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm (doors open 6.00 pm).

Items on the Agenda include:
  • Welcome
  • Whitley Bay Parking Survey
  • Street Lighting
  • Whitley Bay Regeneration
  • Council Youth Strategy
  • Local Cultural Strategy
(Information supplied by the Forum Administrator at the beginning of this month.)

8  Date: 2003-08-18 08:44:15
Doug Reed ( / no homepage) wrote:

Is anybody else getting increasingly irritated with the clashing of the bin lids at all hours at Safeway?

7  Date: 2003-08-01 13:16:55
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Notes on most recent W/Bay Area Forum have been posted on board at entrance to library. Should also be available on Council's Website.
Extra 12,000 pounds is available for spending on improvements to the environment in the W/Bay ward area


6  Date: 2003-07-28 14:50:04
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Parking Permits

Current rules for Resident's Parking Permits are: -
  • One permit per household is allowed, even if there is no vehicle registered.
  • Maximum of two permits per household.
  • Permits must be renewed each year - in Whitley Bay the year starts in February.
  • Permits must be displayed in vehicle so that they can be seen easily by Traffic Wardens.
  • Permits are colour coded "to make it easy for Traffic Wardens".
  • This years colour is GREEN - permits of any other colour are NOT valid.
  • Ring 200 5360 for further information.
Currently there is no charge for Resident's Parking Permits, but a scratch card scheme for Visitors Permits has recently been introduced in Tynemouth!

5  Date: 2003-07-14 15:25:56
Robin Smith ( wrote:

I received the following in an e-mail forwarded on 27 June about marking of bays and double yellow lines near Charlie Brown's. The marking of bays (in Grosvenor Drive East) was done subsequently, after I replied that lines had NOT be marked.

It is my understanding having spoken with my works co ordinator that the remarking of the bays has been completed.

The only document I have in my pocession is a copy of the report commissioned by the council and undertaken by our consultants Scott - Wilson examining the parking situation within Whitley Bay.

Copies of the report have subsequently been presented to the Whitley Bay Parking Group, which has been formed as its name suggests to examine the parking both existing and proposed within Whitley Bay.

Any recommendations made by this group will be the subject of public consultation in due course, with any implementation undertaken during finacial year 2004/05 if a successful bid is made through the LTP

The report is similar to that already produced for the North Shields Parking Group, which is to be implemented later this year.

You would be best to discuss what information is to be provided for the public at this time with Ken Wilson HOF and Councillor Mc Intyre chairperson for the group.


The extract is from an e-mail between Ray Brunskill (Ward Liaison Officer) and Mike Cowey, head of the responsible department at NTC.

4  Date: 2003-07-14 14:38:47
Robin Smith ( wrote:

The system that I used to publicise the Local Information and Message Board about a month ago has failed in that the 28 notices delivered to the ends (and middles) of the three streets were not all passed on to 'next door neighbours'as requested. Please help to publicise the 'Homepage' by printing out a page and pass it to someone who has not heard about it!!

3  Date: 2003-06-23 09:21:09
Robin Smith ( wrote:

I get the impression that parking regulations are still rarely enforced by local traffic wardens. In Grosvenor Drive east a resident told me that a traffic warden declined to issue a ticket because the bays were not clearly marked. I referred this to NTMBC in February, got a reply that it was to be looked into, and sent a reminder a couple of weeks ago.
I guess exceeding the speed limit is still a problem towards the other end of Grosvenor Drive as there are fewer vehicles parked on both sides of the road to slow through traffic.

2  Date: 2003-06-19 18:22:01
David Mc Dermott ( / no homepage) wrote:

Do you have any veiws on the parking in Grosvenor Drive and also the lack of attention drivers take to the newly enforced speed restrictions?

1  Date: 2003-06-16 11:26:01
Robin Smith ( wrote:

The Messageboard will open in July 2003.