Meeting with Durham County Council Portfolio Holder, 12/9/17 re. Festival Walk


Since taking office in May 2017, your 5 County Councillors have held a number of meetings with Durham County Council (DCC) senior officers to follow up on the Area Action Partnership announcement of 16th March 2017 and subsequent County Council Press Release dated 20th March 2017 informing of the Spennymoor Masterplan and proposals for regeneration of Festival Walk.

Currently there is, and we have no further information to report regarding Festival Walk other than to say that talks between the owners of Festival Walk and a major retailer are continuing and a public consultation meeting will be arranged for residents as soon as any proposals are in place for the area.

As soon as a report is available, your County Councillors have asked for an immediate meeting with DCC officers to allow us to feed into the Masterplan our local knowledge and any resident issues or concerns.  This will be followed by a public consultation event.

Whilst we are awaiting further progress reports, we have recognised that there are parts of the central part of our Town that are becoming overgrown, particularly around the boarded up Kingfisher site as well as land adjacent to the Library.  Although these sites are privately owned we have asked if there is any possibility for some of Durham County Council’s proposed investment for this area to be channelled into a clean up of these sites.   We look forward to a positive response regarding any clean up and will update you as soon as we have further information.

Spennymoor Independents are committed to improving the local environment for our residents.  We have already held our own pick up of litter in the raised bed areas around the areas closeby to the Post Office and collected 16 black bin bags of litter and a flat bed T.V. screen even though a waste bin is closeby.  We will continue to monitor environmental issues in our local area and will always encourage and support a clean and healthy environment for our residents.


Liz Maddison, Kevin Thompson, Geoff Darkes, Alan Gardner, Neil Grayson


  1. I have a feeling that Festival Walk will still be a discussion topic a year, two years from now. I’m afraid that, like Newgate Street in Bishop Auckland, the demand for retail units in town centres no longer exists and when large retail outlets such as Tindale and the proposals for Durham Gate are ‘encouraged’ then the decline of town centres is bound to continue. While the proposed Aldi development will help it won’t solve the problem and I suspect the sum of money talked about, was it £600,000 +?, will only provide a sticking plaster when major surgery is needed.
    Re the empty weed strewn units. As these are privately owned why don’t DCC and STC exert pressure on the owners to clean up their own muck? I was pursued by DCC for unpaid council tax I didn’t owe last year but I guess I was an easy target and it would be harder to go after a large organisation so too much trouble. Littering is a major problem UK wide so the only answer, apart from re-introducing stocks and flogging the culprits mercilessly, is to devote resources to cleaning up after them. It’s a matter of what priorities are within the council(s) and should not be left to volunteers. Rant over.

    John Magill


  2. I’ve just walked down Festival Walk, and I wish I hadn’t! Its absolutely horrendous! Horrible , Dirty , and Scruffy what a Dump!to be fair the shops which are there don’t look to bad,and the candle shop is lovely,what a shame that its hidden there,it should be in a prime position in the middle of the town.


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