Minutes of a meeting of the Friends of Tees Heritage Park, held
on 6 March 2014 at The Fox Covert at 7.00 pm
Present: Doug Nicholson, Jan Robinson. Phillip Addison, David Craig, Norman Douglas, Marjorie Simpson, Pat Williams, Christine Mundy, Tony Campbell, Bob Mullen.
1. Apologies for absence: Jan Arger, Shane Sellers, Mike Richards.
2. Minutes of previous meeting: Notes of a joint meeting with CPRE held on 5 December were accepted.
3. Matters Arising: These will be dealt with through the agenda.
4. Current Position and Future of Tees Heritage Park: A new website is being set up for the Heritage Park. This will differ from FTHP in that it will be more “stand alone” supported by the community and interested parties – there have been preliminary meetings with the Council, Tees Valley Wildlife and the Tees Rivers Trust. The Friends will continue to exist as one of the community groups supporting the various local projects along the river, under the umbrella of the Tees Rediscovered. This transition was welcomed by the committee, and the view was expressed that this is an excellent way to help secure the future of the Park. This will now become part of a much bigger project with a more formal governance. The committee see this as a wonderful opportunity to help ensure that the River Tees is valued for what it can offer the local population as well as enhance the image of the Tees Valley as an attractive place to live.
Leaflets and handouts were discussed and shown to the committee. An education pack is also to be produced. It was stressed that these leaflets and maps are not definitive. It was also agreed that there was a need to stress that access along the river and in the area defined by the Heritage Park was confined to existing footpaths, and that there is no wider access permitted.
There has been further correspondence on strengthening protection for the Heritage Park with the Planning Department, especially following the approval of the Retirement Village. Further work is being undertaken in Stockton to re-assess the protection offered by Green Wedge and how the Heritage Park can be best included in the draft LDP, presently being prepared. Discussions are ongoing with the Council.
5. Progress Report on Tees Rediscovered Partnership and relationship to Tees Heritage Park: Doug summarized the Tees Rediscovered Local Conservation Action Plan. This includes a bid for funding for more landing stages at certain points on the river to facilitated local access and potential ferry crossings/access.
River Users Group: A meeting was held this afternoon of the marketing group. The Development, Access and Stewardship group is hoping that work can be carried out to ensure more clearance of the river, around the North Shore area. Discussion are ongoing regarding enforcing existing Canal and River Trust bye-laws by-laws relating to such things as illegal fishing, speed of boats, swimming etc. It is hoped that this will start soon, and that a presence on the river from enforcement officers will help to improve security.
Area Partnership Meetings: These groupings have now changed. We now have a Western and and Eastern Locality Forum. These are currently mapping the impact and pressure on existing infrastructure from the approved new developments. Philip is acting as representative on this for the group.
Other meetings/correspondence/applications: A consultation is being carries out into possible traveller sites in Stockton. Two of these are within the Heritage Park area and FTHP will raise their concerns as the sites will in effect be residential developments, which are considered inappropriate within the Hertiage Park area
Footpaths/River Crossings: Surtees Bridge ongoing. Also see above.
FOPP: Various events are being planned, including an orienteering event on 5 April, and Saturday morning runs. FOPP is hoping to start a photographic group. The group is working to increase the footfall at Preston Park and is also looking at a possible project for the Aviary. Next meeting 18 March.
7. Planning applications/appeals affecting Tees Heritage Park:
Proposed housing development at the Tannery in Yarm has been withdrawn. The Historic Buildings Officer raised serious objections to this project.
Thornaby – an application has been re submitted for some 50 houses on Green Wedge/ Heritage Park land.
Glaisdale Road – there has been a consultation for 14 executive houses in Green Wedge/ Heritage Park land.
Membership policy/action: See above.
Website/ Newsletter: It was agreed that a newsletter will be produced.
Future Programme/AGM: Date for AGM to be considered.
Date of Next meeting: 24 April 2014