1,000 back fight to save centre plans

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A PETITION signed by more than 1,000 people has been handed in as part of an appeal against the rejection of plans for a council joint service centre in Whitley Bay.

The petition was put together by traders in the town keen to see the North Tyneside Council centre built on waste land behind the Coliseum.

The authority’s own planning committee rejected the application in November despite vociferous support from traders, residents and ward councillors.

Concerns were raised about lack of car parking, public access and the design.

After an appeal was launched, Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade got involved by collecting signatures from traders, shoppers and residents, and it has now handed over its 1,000-name petition.

Chamber chairman Karen Goldfinch told the organisation’s latest meeting: “The next step is that a planning inspector will make an appointment to view the area and have a look. We’re still waiting for that date, and we’ll see what happens from there.

“It’s not a lost cause as we think it’s a vital thing for the town.”

Among those who helped collect signatures was Tom Feeney, of Whitley Bay Chiropractic.

He spent around ten hours walking around the town in the snow in December making people aware of the appeal and asking them to sign the petition.

“I went to 151 businesses, and 150 signed it,” said Tom.

The plans for the centre include bringing the library, council services and other organisations under one roof.