Background on “Ponteland Skate Park” and “Play Park”
Within the Castle Morpeth District Local Plan the Planning Inspector identified a lack of Play/Recreation areas for young people in the Ponteland area. Over a period of time consultation with the community and relevant groups, including the local middle, high schools and the Police followed. The need for a skate park could be accommodated on the spare piece of land adjacent to it.
In 2007, Consultants provided an overall plan for the “play park” which would be Phase 1 of the Project, with the “skate park” as Phase 2.
The outcome was for the identified provision of a skate park could be accommodated on the spare piece of land adjacent to it; along with the refurbishment of the existing children’s play area on Callerton Lane. These 2 projects had been awaited for, over 15 years.
The “play park” was completed and officially opened in October 2009.
In November 2010, a bid for funding for the “skate park” was submitted to the Big Lottery Funding via ITV’s “The People’s Millions “ scheme, but this was unsuccessful. In early 2011, the project plans were reviewed and it was decided to go for a simpler skateboard proposal that almost matched the funding already achieved.
By June 2012, sufficient funds were available, thanks to contributions from SENRAC, our four County Councillors, the Ponteland Town Council together with grants from The Community Chest and Banks Community Fund.
In July 2012, contracts were placed for the skate park and the necessary realignment of the access pathway and fencing, and an application to the County Council for the transfer of the lease for the extra parcel of land to the Town Council. A planning application was made to the County Council at this point. Formal Planning Approval was granted in August 2013, followed by transfer of the land in late September of that year. Work commenced on site in late October, and subject to ROSPA
In early 2007 the responsibility for overseeing the Merton Way regeneration passed to the Ponteland Community Partnership (PCP). The Regeneration Sub-Group was set up charged with preparing a Design Brief. After a lot of hard work by Raymond Sproul and his team the brief was produced and later endorsed by Castle Morpeth and approved by the community at a public meeting in February 2008.
Potential developers were sought, two were approved and both prepared their proposals that were put out to public consultation in early 2009. This resulted in a preferred developer, MKP Partnership being endorsed by the Town Council and Castle Morpeth Borough Council.
The introduction of the Unitary Authority for Northumberland later in 2009 meant that the PCP’s project team had to work with a totally new County Council administration. It soon became obvious that the County Council representatives resisted progress with the project possibly because it had originated from the PCP and did not fit in with the County’s infrastructure planning. Unfortunately, this approach has been perpetuated by the Northumberland County Council’s development arm, ARCH, judging by their continued lack of information or response to the Ponteland Community Trust’s proposals about the local library site. All this could have had a significant effect on the community’s perception of the PCP’s apparent lack of progress with the regeneration project.
Merton Way Design Brief 2007
Ponteland Village Masterplan
Local Strategic Partnership
Starting in the early 2000’s, under the stewardship of Kevin Flaherty the Ponteland Community Partnership kept going on a shoestring until support from Castle Morpeth put the Ponteland Community Partnership (PCP) on a more formal basis.
At that time, the PCP was one of four community partnerships established by Castle Morpeth Borough Council in accordance with the precepts of the Local Government Act 2000.
These partnerships were responsible to Advancing Castle Morpeth, the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) for Castle Morpeth. The LSP linked in with the county wide Northumberland Strategic Partnership, thus providing a non-political route to the County Council. With the enlightened support of an annual grant of £100k from Castle Morpeth, over £1M of grant funding was levered in for local projects.
This was all abolished by the Unitary Authority in 2009.