Thursday, 29 November 2018

Faulty Streetlights at Aspatria Avenue

Following contact from residents a couple of weeks ago we reported faulty streetlights at Aspatria Avenue/First Street on Friday 16 November (Ref. No: FS: 3224 1062).

We were particularly concerned about this because the back lane was completely blacked out so we have continually pressed over the past two weeks for repair or maintenance works to be carried out.

We asked this morning for an update and we have received the following information from the service:

"I have spoken to street lighting this morning who have explained there has been worked carried out in the area by contractors and also Northern Power Grid (NPG). However the lights are still not working.

"Further to my previous email, I have now spoken with John Dent. John has explained Balfour Beatty are working on the faults. John is hopeful the lights will be working by Friday evening.

"John has explained this issue is going to happen in other areas of Blackhall as the power lines are being replaced. DCC are working with Balfour Beatty and NPG to be as reactive as they can to the issues".

We've asked for regular updates to help us monitor work on this matter. We'll continue press for urgency in carrying out repairs.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Progress on plans for new public facilities at Crimdon

Earlier this year we published a couple of articles on this site about the council's plans to regenerate Crimdon, including details of a scheme to build new public facilities. Specifically we mentioned a funding bid that the council was putting together to submit to the Coastal Communities Fund (please see posts dated Monday 19 March 2018 and Thursday 26 April 2018 for full details).

Yesterday we received confirmation from the Heritage Coast Partnership that the funding bid has cleared the first hurdle:

Following the initial Heritage Coast Partnership funding application to Coastal Communities Fund Round 5 for facilities at Crimdon, the Partnership have been invited to submit a full second round business plan.

The facilities include for toilets, a café, volunteer and interpretation space. The deadline for submission is 21st January with the results known by the end of March 2019.

The partnership will now finalise a business plan to be submitted to the Coastal Communities Fund in the new year. We will keep you up to date with developments on this scheme as and when we receive further information.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Revised Traffic Management Report for the B1281 at Castle Eden

Earlier this year we contacted Durham Police and Durham County Council (DCC) to express again our continuing concerns about speeding vehicles on the B1281 as it passes through Castle Eden, especially the section between Hallow Hill and the Hesleden junction at Gray Avenue. This followed similar concerns raised by local residents at a PACT meeting in Blackhall Colliery and also by members of the local residents' association. We have also raised our concerns with the relevant agencies on a number of occasions in the past (please see posts dated Wednesday 6 January 2016, Saturday 6 February 2016 & Friday 23 March 2018 for the main background details).

It is generally acknowledged that there are limited statutory options available to the police and the council to adopt physical measures to slow traffic at this location so we asked that a traffic management report from 2014 be reviewed to factor-in the risks associated with the more recent concerns as expressed above. Consequently traffic management officers form DCC and the police have now issued an updated version of the management document. While most of the report remains unaltered there are certain measures which are recommended for implementation.

Please follow the link below for the revised document:

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Open Day at Blackhall Library

Please note below a copy of a poster giving details of an open day event to be held in Blackhall Library later this month:

Friday, 2 November 2018

Railway bridge inspection works this weekend at Blackhall Rocks

We have received notification of a temporary road closure at Station Road, Blackhall Rocks this weekend to allow for Network Rail to carry out bridge inspection works:


Station Road, Blackhall Rocks

Railway bridge inspection

Road closure (8:00am - 3:00pm)

11 November

11 November

Network Rail

C81 Station Road, Blackhall Rocks
Temporary Road Closure

The County Council intend to close to vehicular traffic including pedal and motorcycles, excluding access for emergency service vehicles, from 8.00 am on Sunday 11 November 2018 a 30 metre length of Station Road from The Hawthorns, 25 Station Road to the embankment at eastern side of railway bridge.

The closure, which is being effected by means of Notice under Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, is necessary to enable a railway bridge examination to be undertaken, and will probably take 1 day (8.00am-3.00pm) to complete to be carried out to that length of road.

No alternative diversion route is available for this closure.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Funding available to communities for National Tree Week

We have received information about how community groups, parish councils, schools and individuals can apply for funding to plant trees in their local areas.

Grants of up to £150 are available for community groups, parish councils, schools and individuals to make their area greener.

Applicants have until Friday 16 November to apply for the funding as part of celebrations for National Tree Week, which takes place between Saturday 24 November and Sunday 2 December.

To mark the UK’s largest annual tree festival, Durham County Council is offering grants for tree planting projects across the county in all forms, from planting fruit trees and commemorative areas, to hedgerow trees and small coppices.
Durham County Council has taken part in National Tree Week since 1979 and over the past three years has planted almost four thousand trees as part of the campaign.

Steve Bhowmick, Durham County Council’s environment and design manager, said, “National Tree Week marks the start of the winter tree planting season and is the perfect time for communities to get their hands dirty and do something positive for their local environment. Trees have many benefits, not just improving areas aesthetically but creating habitats for wildlife, helping to prevent flooding, cleaning our polluted air and much more. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this year’s successful applicants have planned for their areas.”

Grants will be allocated on a first come, first served basis so people are encouraged to apply early. Applications cannot be accepted for planting on land immediately surrounding a residential building and whilst projects on private land such as farmland will be considered, they must be visible from a public right of way or road.

Application forms must arrive no later than Friday 16 November 2018 and can be requested by email from or by telephoning on 03000 267 133.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Arrangements for Remembrance Sunday

Services will be held throughout the country on Sunday 11 November when we take the opportunity to honour the sacrifice made by many in defence of our country during two world wars and other conflicts over the years.

We will be laying wreaths on behalf of Durham County Council and the people of our communities at the Memorial in Blackhall Colliery Welfare Park and at the War Memorial in Hesleden.

Following the traditional service of remembrance wreaths will be laid in Blackhall Colliery on behalf of:
  • Durham County Council
  • Monk Hesleden Parish Council
  • Ex-Services Associations, including Blackhall Navy Club & Blackhall RAFA
  • Blackhall Air Training Corps
  • Blackhall Youth Group
  • Wellfield School
  • St Andrew's Church
There will also be an opportunity for members of the public to mark their private respects.

As in previous years we have provided funding for a buffet to be made available in Blackhall Cricket Club immediately following the service. Everyone is welcome so please come along and join us.