Monday, 26 January 2015

Prudhoe Hospital redevelopment planning application

My blog over the years has chronicled the poor quality of planning in Prudhoe (although I will remark that this year past has shown a marked effort to address one of the regular concerns in respect of drainage). After a long time in gestation, the Prudhoe Hospital planning application from the developer Gentoo and the owner The Homes and Communities Agency (remember the c word) is now made. It is here.

Paul Revill the previous Baptist minister of Stocksfield and himself a Prudhoe resident asked me "What do think Robert?". And remarked that flatting Prudhoe Hall might be a lost opportunity. This is what I said on Facebook.

"At one level Prudhoe Hall is the least of this. I do value Prudhoe Hall and also the Walled Garden (for which the plan if it happens is sensible, some sheltered homes outside to generate revenue for a publicly accessible garden operation). BUT what is needed here is a community, there are many excellent buildings here (like the pavilion) and some of the blocks which could be retained, adapted and re-used, to create along with many new houses variety and opportunity with continuity. The developer simply does not have the vision, the knowledge, the drive or the desire to do any more than knock down and build lots of houses with apparently no thought about where people work and how they get there? How does this impact on Blaydon roundabout? Why is it not matched to new road links across the Tyne to the A69 and south to the Derwent Valley (hardly very difficult that)? What is being provided as a social hub for the self employed with public Wifi (notably something Prudhoe's newest public building does not have)? Will there be a pub or a church? Many people, senior leaders, have said Prudhoe must not repeat Castlefields. In what respect does this development differ? Correlate what the developer proposes to . However after many years I have realised that Prudhoe's own ability with but two county councillors to cease being done unto and to take control of itself is very limited. The HCA could have offered the whole site to Prudhoe through the Community Partnership and the Town Council and said "now determine, your own destiny"."

On transport provision worm your way into this. It includes the offer of a minibus service for the development. How long will that last? Think 111. It is not a link to Newcastle or anywhere else. The "positive" step of offering such for 392+12+80 (Humbles Wood) so 484 homes tells me a lot. That anticipating people do anything other than drive hardly figures. It is a palliative sop.

One of the buildings slated for demolition. Why not flatted?

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