Thursday, September 29, 2011

Delight as Emmaus pulls out of Dunston

Homeless charity Emmaus have decided not to go ahead with their plans to convert Dunston Hill School into a centre for homeless people. And the decision not to proceed has been welcomed by the local Lib Dem Councillor, Peter Maughan, who helped residents fight the scheme.

Councillor Maughan, who organised the public meeting for residents about the plan to change the school to a centre to house and train homeless people, said the decision to end the plans was the right one for Dunston.

“Whilst the aims of Emmaus were laudable, the location was completely wrong,” said Peter. “Residents expressed considerable concern about the impact on Dunston village.

“I am pleased that Emmaus have recognised that a proposal of this sort needs strong community backing which in this instance, was not there.

“Those who supported the plan, such as Labour MP for the area, David Anderson, were in a small minority. At the public meeting I arrange, the community made its position abundantly clear that this was a scheme they did not want to go ahead.

“I will be contacting council officers soon to raise concerns about the future of the Dunston Hill School site. An alternative use needs to be found for it but it must be one that is acceptable to the community of Dunston.”

Friday, September 16, 2011

Opencast campaign goes on-line

A campaign fighting to stop plans for an opencast mine has gone on-line to reach more people.

Gateshead Council will decide in October whether or not to accept an application by Halls Construction to opencast 225,000 tonnes of coal from Birklands, near Kibblesworth.

A group has been set up to fight the plans and Liberal Democrat Councillor, Jonathan Wallace, has been helping the campaign to have the application rejected.

Cllr Wallace led the campaign against the plans by Halls Construction six years ago to opencast over 400,000 tonnes of coal at Skons Park, near Whickham.

“We have gone on-line to be able to reach more people,” said Cllr Wallace. “The site has already been visited by hundreds of people and many have signed the petition against the plans on-line.

“If this application goes ahead, we are very concerned about the impact on villages such as Kibblesworth, Lamesley, Marley Hill and Sunniside. We are also concerned that this application could create a precedent for more applications in our local countryside if it is allowed to go ahead.
“Many local people have signed the petition but there has been interest from across the country as well.

“Gateshead’s countryside is a great resource for our area. There is a growing tourist industry as well. Tourism and opencast mining do not mix. People understand that which is why many people have backed the petition.”

The campaign website is