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20 North East historic sites added to 'at risk' register

Twenty historic sites across the North East have been added to an 'at risk' register due to their condition.

English Heritage publishes an annual report which identifies listed buildings and historic sites most at risk of loss or decay.

Since last year, 27 sites have been removed from the list after investments of £768,000 in the region.

In the North East:

  • 8 buildings or structures have been taken off the Register and 5 have been added.
  • 4 churches and places of worship have been taken off the Register and 9 have been added.
  • 14 archaeological sites have been removed from the Register and 3 have been added.
  • 1 conservation area, Spittal in Berwick upon Tweed, has been removed from the Register this year, 3 conservation areas including Alnwick, Northumberland and Chester-le-Street, County Durham have been added.
St James Church, Benwell Credit: English Heritage
  • The 13th century Church of St Andrew Winston on the banks of the River Tees has been added to the list this year. There are several structural issues in the building and the roof needs repairing. The congregation has agreed a repair project. The work is underway with financial help from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and is due to be completed by 2015.
Hamsterley Hall,Hamsterley Mill,Rowlands Gill,County Durham. Credit: English Heritage
  • Hamsterley Hall has suffered from decades of decline leaving the property with an estimated repair bill of £4m. The hall was already on the Heritage At Risk register but is now classified at the highest level of risk.
Coquet Island, Northumberland Credit: English Heritage
  • Coquet Island is one of a number of remote islands off the Northumberland coast. The remains of a monastic cell and a medieval tower have been removed from the Heritage at Risk register this year after a repair project and grant of £93,000 from English Heritage.

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Cleveland Way footpath re-opens after landslip

The section of cliff on the Cleveland Way suffered a landslip Credit: National Park Authority

A section of pathway along the Cleveland Way near Whitby has been reopened after the cliffside suffered a landslip. The National Park Authority was forced to cordon off a section of the popular walking route following the slide this week. The section is now open again to walkers after a local landowner allowed the Authority to re-divert a short section of the walkway through a nearby field.

A groundsman erects a fence to re-direct walkers around the landslip on the Cleveland Way Credit: National Park Authority

£11.2m visitor centre for Hadrian's Wall given go ahead

South east view showing main visitor entrance Credit: Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Ltd

Northumberland National Park Authority, YHA (England and Wales) and partners, are celebrating after plans for The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre were officially given the green light.

Plans for the £11.2m centre, which is to replace the existing 1960s Once Brewed facilities with a flagship visitor attraction, training and educational centre, were referred by a third party to be determined by the Secretary of State.

Northumberland National Park Authority Chairman Cllr John Riddle, said: “The long term gains of the project include economic growth and job creation which will offer a step-change benefit for the whole of the North East and then there are the benefits you just cannot put a price on – including the impact the project will have on young people from a training and educational perspective.

The first floor cafe will feature panoramic views Credit: Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Ltd

Consultation has played a huge part in a participative design process, with over 1,700 members of the public sharing their ideas and feedback.

Stuart Evans, Sill Project Director at Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “As part of the next stage of development, we want to continue this process and invite anyone who would like to contribute to come forward and help us realise the project’s full potential. Working together, we have such a wonderful opportunity through The Sill to compliment and support the excellent tourism offer in our region and open up the landscape to a whole new audience.”

The team now looks to push on to achieve £3m match funding needed as well as submitting its bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the remaining £6.9m, with an outcome expected early 2015.

Aerial view of The Sill Credit: Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Ltd

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Plan to be submitted for York potash mine

Controversial plans for the world's biggest potash mine to be sunk in the North York Moors National Park are to be submitted today.

Plan to be submitted for York potash mine Credit: http://www.siriusminerals.com/

The firm behind the £1bn scheme near Whitby, says it would create 1,000 jobs, but critics say it would blight one of the region's finest landscapes and pave the way for other large scale developments in Britain's national parks.

The mine would target the world's largest untapped reserve of polyhalite - a mineral which is used as fertiliser to boost crop yields.

North York Moors National Park officials said today the mine is believed to be the largest ever major development proposal submitted to a National Park Authority in England.

If operating today at full capacity of 13 million tonnes of polyhalite ore per year, it is understood that the mine would be the world’s largest potash mine in terms of the amount of potash extracted.

The plan involves the construction of two 1,500 metre deep mine shafts on land at Dove’s Nest Farm, near Sneaton, four miles south of Whitby.

Also planned is a 250 metre deep tunnel running 23 miles from the mine site to Wilton on Teesside where the extracted mineral would be granulated for export.

The tunnel would have an access shaft at Dove’s Nest Farm and three intermediate access points on the route to Wilton, one within the national park, near Egton, the second just outside the park boundaries near Lockwood Beck Reservoir and the third near Guisborough.

The Authority understands the significance of the proposals and will carefully assess the planning considerations of the development which will include the environmental impacts and economic benefits. We will approach the new application with an open mind and the proposed development will be determined in the context of our local plan policies and government policy which is that major development should not take place in National Parks unless there are exceptional circumstances of public interest. I want to assure people that we will take all relevant considerations into account before reaching any decision.

– Chris France, Director of Planning at the North York Moors National Park Authority
Plan to be submitted for York potash mine Credit: http://www.siriusminerals.com/

We believe we have a compelling planning case that clearly demonstrates that the York Potash Project can deliver exceptional economic benefits, not only locally here in North Yorkshire and in Teesside but also for the wider UK economy.

We have planned the project with a very high regard for the environment and where possible minimising associated impacts. However, it is now for each authority to determine the applications according to the relevant policies and we keenly await their decisions.

– Chris Fraser, managing director Sirius Minerals

A decision on whether to grant the mine permission is expected next year.

Plans submitted for £2bn potash mine on national park

York Potash Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Final plans are being submitted to create Europe's largest potash mine. York Potash hope to build the £2bn mine on the North York Moors National Park. Campaigners argue it could ruin the environment but supporters say it would bring jobs.

Last year, the controversial plans were deferred till now. York Potash asked for more time to submit further details on the application - deferring the decision for a third time.

Read More: York Potash mine plans up for discussion

North York Moors National Park Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

£11.2m visitor centre for Hadrian's Wall: A virtual tour

After months of extensive public consultation and refinement, The Sill project have produced the final design concepts for Northumberland's new Landscape Discovery Centre, an £11.2m visitor centre which could be built near Hadrian's Wall.

Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Ltd were selected earlier this year by Northumberland National Park and the Youth Hostels Association to explore concepts for the new multi-million pound landmark building, which would replace the existing facilities at Once Brewed near Steel Rigg on Hadrian's Wall.

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