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A referendum was held on Thursday 7 November 2019 to decide on the question below:
Do you want Durham County Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Witton Gilbert to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?
The result was:
Yes 409 votes 88% of the total vote
No 56 votes 12% of the total vote
The turnout was 23%
Durham County Councillors Arnie Simpson and Bev Coult are holding a Drop In Session for residents of Esh and Witton Gilbert at Witton Gilbert Community Centre on Thursday 24th October 2019 between 6 and 7.30 pm.
If you would like information or advice, wish to make a complaint or would like to enquire about services provided by the Council, why not drop by and have a talk with your County Councillors, we will certainly do our best to help.
NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY.
On Saturday October 27th we have a Halloween Disco/Karaoke at Witton Gilbert Club. Doors open at half past five, adults £3.00 Children are free.
On Saturday 29th December we have two live bands on at Witton Gilbert Club. Doors open at 6.00 pm £3.50 on the door.
On New Years Day at Witton Gilbert Club we have a games day with Horse Racing, Play Your Cards Right, Raffles, Bingo etc., doors open at 11.00am.
All money raised from these events goes to help the Playgroup, the Drama Group and we’re trying to raise £3000 to buy a second High Flow Oxygen System for Treetops Neonatal Ward at University Hospital of North Durham (Dryburn).
Witton Gilbert Drama Group will be performing a production of Cinderella on the 24th 25th and 26th of October at Fyndoune Community College. Starting time is 6pm and tickets are available at the Community College or Witton Gilbert Club at a cost of £4.
Police and Communities Together meetings are to be held at the Witton Gilbert Community Centre on the following Fridays at 6 pm.
14th September 2018
12th October 2018
23rd November 2018
21st December 2018
The meeting will be attended by a member of your local Neighbourhood Policing Team. If you have any issues you would like to discuss please come along. Privacy can be arranged.
Following a detailed tender process just before Christmas, Landscaping contractor RHD Construction is to be awarded the contract and will be starting some preliminary works within the next couple of weeks.
These works will consist of some alterations to the trees and shrubs behind the McColls shop. This work will be carried out in advance of the main contract to avoid disturbing birds during the nesting season. The following letter will be posted to adjacent properties in the next few days.
The main contract works will start in mid-March and should take approximately 8 weeks to complete. The contractor is to minimise disruption and maintain access to the shop. Working hours are restricted to 8 am till 6 pm Monday to Friday.
Wallnook Bridge, over the River Browney near Langley Park, closed to vehicular traffic in March 2013 but remained open for use by pedestrians and horse riders.
However the structure’s condition has now deteriorated further and we are to close it to all traffic in the interests of public safety.
Signs will advise pedestrians and horse riders of alternative routes where possible. Short diversion routes are already in place for vehicles.
Letters advising of the full closure have been sent to residents living close to the bridge.
We are committed to providing a new crossing over the River Browney at Wallnook subject to funding being obtained. Options for a new crossing are being considered. Brian Buckley, our strategic highways manager, said:
“The bridge is being closed in the interests of public safety and people will not be able to cross it on foot, by bicycle or on horseback. We are working to provide a crossing at this point in the long term and thank people for their patience in the meantime.”
The formation of the Parish Plan was launched in October 2009 with a well attended public meeting in the Witton Gilbert Village Hall. The steering committee designed a questionnaire which was sent to every household and establishment in the parish in June 2010. The completed questionnaire was collected through the cooperation of the post office, parish church and shops. There was a disappointingly low but nevertheless significant return. The data was analysed and in January 2011 a second public meeting was held to give the community an opportunity to see the preliminary results and to make further comment. Additionally, local businesses were approached for further input and the Village School and Fyndoune Community College were invited to put forward their views. Following this consultative process, focus groups were set up to look more closely at the individual sections arising from the questionnaire and with a view to developing future strategy. The published plan is derived from the comments arising from the meetings and interviews together with the results of the questionnaire and a copy of the Parish Plan was delivered to every household in the Parish.
The consultation showed that there is a desire for more local shops and the community also expressed a need to provide a focus, a meeting point, a concentration of activity, where the Community could encounter each other, all ages and social groups. There were many comments on the unsightly appearance and siting of the White Tun and options and opportunities to recreate a Village Centre.
A new and attractive Village Centre has been the talk of residents for some time and the Parish Council with the support of the Neighbourhood Plan team held consultation events in Cooper Hall on 30th November 2014, 21st February 2015 & 30th May 2015.
On 19th December 2015 a consultation meeting was held for residents to view and discuss the proposed plans to improve the area around McColl’s new shop. Many people left suggestions on landscaping, access, traffic calming and footpaths particularly linking Durham Gardens and Brookside. The Parish Council have a few legal issues to resolve with McColls and have appointed a design company to take the project forward. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and Parish Council members feel that we must get it right.
Funding the project is an issue and whilst the Parish Precept has not risen for 8 years the Council will have to find a substantial amount of money so an increase this year has been unavoidable. In January this year the Parish Council in creased the precept from £29,500 to £65,500 to provide extra money to fund the design and initial construction works for the scheme to start in 2016 with the remainder of the funding to come from grants and a loan from the Public Works Loan Board, which will be paid back over the coming 5 years
It is estimated that the Village Centre could cost around £120.000 and funding will be sought from the Durham Area Partnership, our County Councillors Neighbourhood Budgets, Section 106 money from the Wallnook Grange development at Witton Station and other sources.
At the Parish Council meeting on 8th February 2016 the Parish Council appointed Southerngreen Charted Landscape Architects to design the Village Centre who from Spring 2016 will be preparing, briefing, consulting and developing a Masterplan ‘Concept Design’ to allow for additional funding bids to be sought and prioritisation of work then the development of a detailed design of the full scheme with a works value of around £120.000, submission of planning and assistance with funding bids through to commencement of work. During this process all residents will be able to participate in design workshops and be able to make a contribution to the final design of the Village Centre Project.