From police box to ice cream parlour

The disused police box in Tynemouth which is to be turned into an ice cream parlour.
The disused police box in Tynemouth which is to be turned into an ice cream parlour.

A disused police box in Tynemouth is going from 999s to 99s.

The single-storey brick building, which has sat unused for years at the end of Percy Park Road, is to be transformed into an ice cream parlour.

Work will soon get under way to turn the building into a Victorian era-inspired traditional ice cream parlour, after North Tyneside Council gave the go-ahead.

Councillors raised concerns about road safety in the area, however ultimately voted five to three in favour of the plans.

Coun Wendy Lott said: “It is not going to be a supersized McDonald’s like we are seeing across the borough, I think this is a welcome asset to the location.”

The scheme had attracted 45 objections, the majority of which raised concerns about the traffic.

Coun Ed Hodgson said: “The clientele are likely to be children which means they’ve got to cross the roads. It seems to be a very dangerous proposal. Children run around the place, especially with the excitement of ice cream.”

Luciano Di Meo, owner of  Di Meo’s Delaval Ices, which already has a business on Marine Avenue in  Whitley Bay as well as a kiosk on the town’s promenade, said the ice cream parlour has been two years in the planning.

After the meeting he said: “I am very excited I want to just crack on with it all now. We’ve taken the neighbours into account, we know they’ve spent a lot of money for the houses around there. It will be Victorian in style which is in keeping with the area, and are buying a charcol filter oven for pizzas so there are no smells.”

Mr Di Meo said he hoped the people of Tynemouth would become fond of the ice cream parlour when it is finished.

Although he had hoped to be open by the summer delays in the application process mean it is unlikely to open until later in the year.