Committee – January 2015

Minutes of a meeting of the Friends of Tees Heritage Park, held

On 29 January 2015 at The Fox Covert at 7.00 pm

Present:  Edwin Bradley (Thornaby resident) Christine Mundy, David Craig, Doug Nicholson, Jan Robinson, Philip Addison, Norman Douglas, Reg Rowlinson/Trevor Jones(FoPP) Tony Campbell

1. Apologies for absence: Pat Williams, Mike Richardson

2. Minutes of previous meeting: Minutes accepted.

3. Matters arising: 

The newly printed leaflets are now free of charge, thanks to additional funding becoming available.

A discussion on the future of the Aviary at Preston Park followed.  There was a recap on the structural survey that had been carried out some time ago and the questionnaire that was carried recently out with members of the public on potential future use of the Aviary.  The group was reminded that there had been no maintenance for over 10 years and that there are also security issues with access to the building having been forced.  All things considered, though, the structure appears to be in good condition.  Ideas and plans have been produced by Reg Rowlinson a member of Friends of Preston Park, to illustrate ways in which the structure could be re invented and brought back into regular use.  There has also been correspondence with Ken Dixon at SBC.  A response from SBC officers is awaited.

The issue of toilet and changing facilities for river users was also raised.  Doug suggested that a plan be developed for these to be raised with River Tees Rediscovered as part of a comprehensive approach for this part of Park.  Reg was thanked for his work.  The group found this very helpful.

4. Tees Heritage Park future:

See above.

The new website is taking shape.  New developments include a photo gallery and links to other sites and other sources of information.

FTHP is now included as a project within Tees Rediscovered.  There are currently efforts to improve access to the Tees at Yarm with the possibility of an extension to the dock at Yarm, similar to that at Preston Park.  River Shack, (a new business looking to develop leisure activities related to the river) and the Wheely Boats are involved in this.  It was stressed that this would not be a public launch site, although boats would be able to tie up.

Additional “destination” points along the river are also under consideration in connection with the River Tees Rediscovered Project

A further programme of walks is being funded by Natural England and Doug a programme. More details to follow and contact is Lucy Chapman form Groundwork NE.  There will also be training for walk leaders.

Stockton are now beginning consultations on their draft Development Plan and it  is hoped that the Heritage Park will be included as a separate policy.

5. Progress report on River Tees Rediscovered Partnership and relationship to Tees Heritage Park:

A programme of public activities is being developed.  There is to be a launch event at Middlesbrough College on 19 February.

6. Updates as applicable on :

Stockton River Users Group – There are ongoing discussions regarding improving the River Leven and its banks (including the Tees Rivers Trust). Work to clean up the Tees is ongoing A sub group of RUG is to look at the possibility of developing a site at Bowesfield for water based activities, subject to agreement with Banks, the owners – there has been positive feedback from scouting associations and youth groups.

Regular trips from enforcement teams are to be continued this year, building on last year’s success, but a new community boat is needed.  The Canals and River Trust may be able to come up with some support for this.  There is also work being carried out to improve understanding of river bye laws, how these are supposed to work and how they can be effectively implemented.

Other meetings/correspondence/applications etc:  Disappointingly, the Busby Way application for housing has been passed on appeal.

Footpaths/river crossings: Discussions are ongoing.

Friends of Preston Park – Aviary use: See above.

6. Planning applications/appeals affecting Tees Heritage Park – updates/action: 

See above.

7. FTHP

Membership policy/action:  The AGM was well supported and generally felt to be very successful.

Web site/Newsletter: NTR

Future Programme:  It was suggested that there should be another trip on the Teesside Princess.  An afternoon tea trip was suggested. David Craig to investigate

Funds: There is currently a bank balance of £1,184.

8. AOB. None

Date of Next meeting:  Thursday 26 March 2015.