Boost for council’s new location plans

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PLANS for Ponteland’s local authority to move into a more accessible location have cleared an important hurdle.

But councillors have stressed that the Memorial Hall project will take time to complete, despite planning permission being granted.

The town council is currently based in Meadowfield Industrial Estate and many residents face a long walk to its headquarters, while parking is limited for those who travel by car.

An extension to the building off Darras Road will enable it to provide offices and meeting rooms. A wheelchair platform lift will allow everyone to access the main ground-floor rooms and toilets.

It was announced that planning permission had been awarded by the county council at a recent meeting.

But Ponteland Mayor Peter Cowey said: “This is good news, however, we must make it clear to residents that it is going to take some time to pull everything together and get the funding in place before work can start.”

Clerk Kath Mavin added that meetings will now take place in the coming weeks with Memorial Hall representatives, the chartered building surveyor and the hall’s solicitor in order to progress the project.

The plans involve demolishing the existing single-storey rear extension and constructing a new two-storey extension. The increase in floor area is in the region of 220 metres squared.

Meanwhile, the make-up of the new council’s committees and working parties hasbeen agreed. Those on the four main bodies are as follows.

Cemetery: Peter Cowey, Christine Caisley, Rob Punton, Carl Rawlings, Robin Ramsay. Environment: Joyce Butcher, Christine Caisley, Christine Greenwell, Sue Johnson and Robin Ramsay. Highways: Richard Dodd, Christine Greenwell, Lesley Noble, Rob Punton and Robin Ramsay. Planning: Peter Cowey, Sue Johnson, Lesley Noble, Rob Punton, Carl Rawlings and Liz Thompson.