REGENERATION: Residents need clarification

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It was interesting and refreshing to read Gillian Swanson and Pamela Hood’s letter (News Guardian, November 26), regarding looking again at what can be done on the lower promenade now that it has been cleared and ready for re-modelling.

The proposed grass bank does seem to be a simple and unimaginative way to deal with what could be a new focal point of the regeneration of this area. People looking at the site now see a wide area with potential to make it interesting, commercially viable and an opportunity to re-think the plans.

Of course, the major item is the reinforced sea wall, but working back from that, the possibilities are endless.

We welcome the promise of new balustrades to reflect the Victorian splendour which many British seaside resorts retain. The promenade has to be built out and this has to be structurally supported, and no one doubts the large engineering undertaking this is.

However, good access, some commercial presence, attractive seating, appropriate planting, and this area could be a venue for open air concerts, and there are members of the public who could contribute to ideas. Possibly a focus group could be formed.

You only have to look at Tynemouth and how popular the beach bar is. The access can be challenging to less able people, but it works and this could happen on Whitley Bay’s lower promenade.

So North Tyneside Council, as you have re-thought the original plans around Watts Slope, now having a cafe at the bottom near the beach as the ice cream hut has proved so popular, let us re-think the lower promenade.

We now wait anxiously for the next stage of the Heritage Lottery bid to secure the future of the Dome. It’s good that commercial developers have been found and outline dates have been announced.

We are looking in 2016-17 to further disruption, but hopefully progress in the right direction, with the public conveniences and café at Watts Slope starting to be developed soon.

We read that work is going on in the Dome and Robertsons’ signs are in place, but residents wonder what this work is and hope that the proposed dates, having received a positive Heritage Lottery bid, will be kept. Losing a month here and there only delays this project, which is so eagerly awaited.

Please council, let there be no unnecessary delays. This regeneration in its present form has been going on for at least a decade and we need action.

We now read about a hotel and restaurant on the Spanish Island site, but looking at the new car park, which does look bleak in the winter months, where will this hotel be sited, or would some of the car park be realigned to accommodate it?

The residents of Whitley Bay need clarification of this regeneration, the alteration to the original plans in light of the amendments at Watts Slope, and the final positioning of new build adjacent to the Dome.

Heather Carr

Whitley Bay