A neighbour’s son tells me cheerfully that Tynemouth is now the place for weekend drinking. His mates come from Newcastle, South Shields, Gateshead, and one even treks from Guisborough.
I love living here and appreciate the choice of good food venues, wine bars and Geordie friendliness. I love showing visitors around.
On a recent Saturday night, I hurried our German visitors down Front Street in full swing, with bouncers the only unsmiling presence, round the corner to the tranquillity of the ancient Priory, the Spanish Battery, views of the sea and river, birds, five walkers, two dogs and a couple on a bench, and quiet. Watching over it all was the distant Admiral Collingwood.
This historic site and the beaches are what makes the village special and are the core tourist draw.
This is why the Friends of Tynemouth Spanish Battery object to the proposal of Northern Property Group for a licensed 130-seater restaurant/cafe, open till 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays, as an “addition” to a Cycle Hub.
We don’t need another drinking venue, and certainly not in a Conservation Area.
In 2014 the council responded to residents’ concerns over anti social behaviour (vomiting, fighting, foul language) in Front Street, and adopted the Cumulative Impact Policy to ensure the number of licensed premises in Tynemouth doesn’t have a detrimental impact on the local community in the future.
It was to take into account the wider impact when considering individual licensing applications.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “As a council we have listened to the wishes of the residents of Tynemouth, and I am delighted that the council has supported their request.”
There are many keen cyclists in Friends of the Spanish Battery who say there are far more suitable venues for a genuine cycle hub, which would, with appropriate signage, celebrate the end of the Coast to Coast route, (in fact, sea to sea).
One is on the North Shields Fish Quay, where the river meets the sea opposite Lloyd’s Hailing Station. North Shields, with its high levels of poverty and associated ill health, would benefit from this, while historic Tynemouth would only suffer.
We have until August 24 to make our views heard on the North Tyneside Council planning portal, an email or a letter.