Darlington river regeneration project "could boost growth for 20 years"

First published in News
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Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Darlington reporter

THE council officer behind an ambitious plan to transform Darlington’s riverside areas has said the scheme will be at the heart of the town’s regeneration plan for the next 20 years.

Tim Crawshaw, principal officer for environment and urban design at Darlington Borough Council, spoke at a meeting of the Environment Agency’s Northumbria regional flood and coastal committee (NRFCC), where he outlined the aims of the scheme and how it will tackle flooding in the Skerne.

The proposed Town Centre Fringe scheme for Darlington will regenerate an overlooked area of the town, creating a riverside walk along a rejuventated River Skerne and opening up land for extra businesses and 600 homes, as well as major changes to the inner ring road.

Mr Crawshaw told the meeting that the River Skerne has informal flood defences which can be strengthened as part of the long-term improvements.

He said: “We want to create a flood alleviation scheme that contains the river by creating a green corridor, a linear park through the town. At the moment the whole area around the river is a bit depressing and we want to make it somewhere you want to take your kids on a bike ride.

“We need to stop the ring road being a barrier between the town centre and the rest of the town. We’re going to do that by removing those strips of empty land between the two carriageways of the ring road and giving that land back to the river so it can breathe.

“At the moment the land around the river is not well utilised – we want to turn it into something that could be an opportunity for growth for the next 20 years, with the river as its lifeblood.”

Darlington Borough Council has been awarded £100,000 by NFRCC to help with the planning and design of the Fringe scheme.

Frank Morgan, chairman of NFRCC, said: “This is an exciting project. It seems like one of those classic examples of projects that can contribute towards regeneration and helping bring back the river as a focal point of the community.

“It takes a far seeing council to look at the sort of problems that are here and create them into something as interesting and exciting as what we have here.”

Comments (4)

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5:36pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Lifetime Townie says...

Sounds quite a good idea if we knew where the money was coming from to pay for it, most likely a super increase in council tax. On the other hand it could be the wild dreams of a council in panic to save the town from extinction. I hope that most of us will be around to see it in 20 years time.
Sounds quite a good idea if we knew where the money was coming from to pay for it, most likely a super increase in council tax. On the other hand it could be the wild dreams of a council in panic to save the town from extinction. I hope that most of us will be around to see it in 20 years time. Lifetime Townie
  • Score: 0

11:01pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Spy Boy says...

"informal flood defences." What is an informal flood defence ? More executive codswallop. Which planet do these people currently inhabit when they're not infesting ours.

"At the moment the whole area around the river is a bit depressing." And who's fault is that ? Yours. So now you want to admit that you've wasted our money ( Twice ) and want to waste a bit more trying to put it all right again. ( For a profit ) There's quite enough space down the river side apart from the south end and there's no room to widen it there, so why waste our money when we're already skint due to your deluded schemes.

"We’re going to do that by removing those strips of empty land between the two carriageways of the ring road and giving that land back to the river so it can breathe." Who comes up with all this stuff ? We're giving the land back to the river. Cobblers. I think you need to review your medication. Maybe you want to give the trees back to the little green men and the parks back to the fairies ? I'd much rather you gave the town back to the people who live here.

Only a few years ago the ring road was built by hacking down hundreds of homes. Then very recently it was rebuilt to make it all curvy and unsafe. Now the council are spending millions of pounds that they don't have to change it all back again. How much longer must we suffer this bunch of clowns ? The developers just seem to be able to sell them any old scheme going and look how it's wrecked our town and our bank balance. Not to worry, you'll be on our backs again soon, screwing us out of another few percent on our rates.
"informal flood defences." What is an informal flood defence ? More executive codswallop. Which planet do these people currently inhabit when they're not infesting ours. "At the moment the whole area around the river is a bit depressing." And who's fault is that ? Yours. So now you want to admit that you've wasted our money ( Twice ) and want to waste a bit more trying to put it all right again. ( For a profit ) There's quite enough space down the river side apart from the south end and there's no room to widen it there, so why waste our money when we're already skint due to your deluded schemes. "We’re going to do that by removing those strips of empty land between the two carriageways of the ring road and giving that land back to the river so it can breathe." Who comes up with all this stuff ? We're giving the land back to the river. Cobblers. I think you need to review your medication. Maybe you want to give the trees back to the little green men and the parks back to the fairies ? I'd much rather you gave the town back to the people who live here. Only a few years ago the ring road was built by hacking down hundreds of homes. Then very recently it was rebuilt to make it all curvy and unsafe. Now the council are spending millions of pounds that they don't have to change it all back again. How much longer must we suffer this bunch of clowns ? The developers just seem to be able to sell them any old scheme going and look how it's wrecked our town and our bank balance. Not to worry, you'll be on our backs again soon, screwing us out of another few percent on our rates. Spy Boy
  • Score: 0

10:36am Sat 26 Jan 13

Darloresident says...

Hate to tell you this Spy Boy -
This hopeless,incompetent
,travesty of a council dont give a stuff what you or I think unless its what they already have decided is good for you...
They are at the moment crying into what they hoped was their botomless pit of cash at the news they can only put up this years council tax by 2%..
They could of course hold a referendum if they wanted to increase by more than the 2%..But of course because this worthless inept lot could not give us any worthwhile justification as to why the extra increase was neeeded they would not dare hold themselves to account.
What has happened by the way to the government granted money to fix the potholes?? I see no sign of workmen carrying out this badly needed work..Or was it spent on those clowns who in the above article justify their existance by waffling on about nowt..
Hate to tell you this Spy Boy - This hopeless,incompetent ,travesty of a council dont give a stuff what you or I think unless its what they already have decided is good for you... They are at the moment crying into what they hoped was their botomless pit of cash at the news they can only put up this years council tax by 2%.. They could of course hold a referendum if they wanted to increase by more than the 2%..But of course because this worthless inept lot could not give us any worthwhile justification as to why the extra increase was neeeded they would not dare hold themselves to account. What has happened by the way to the government granted money to fix the potholes?? I see no sign of workmen carrying out this badly needed work..Or was it spent on those clowns who in the above article justify their existance by waffling on about nowt.. Darloresident
  • Score: 0

4:01pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Lifetime Townie says...

Quote
“We need to stop the ring road being a barrier between the town center and the rest of the town. We’re going to do that by removing those strips of empty land between the two carriageways of the ring road and giving that land back to the river so it can breathe.

it sounds weird saying letting the river breathe. Does any resident have any idea what it means? Or is it none sense words from another planet?
Quote “We need to stop the ring road being a barrier between the town center and the rest of the town. We’re going to do that by removing those strips of empty land between the two carriageways of the ring road and giving that land back to the river so it can breathe. it sounds weird saying letting the river breathe. Does any resident have any idea what it means? Or is it none sense words from another planet? Lifetime Townie
  • Score: 0

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