EYESORE: Work is still to be done

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It was interesting to read that work has started to transform an eyesore on the Fish Quay into homes and shops, with Mayor Norma Redfern saying she is delighted that work is under way, (News Guardian, April 6).

Norma says she hopes it will be a huge improvement and just what is needed.

Before she gets carried away, I would urge her to walk further along the Fish Quay from Bell Street towards the Irvin Building on Union Quay. There she will see, because it is impossible to miss, the dilapidated Tyne Brand site, which is even more of an eyesore than Bell Street ever was.

I have lived here for 35 years and the deplorable condition hasn’t changed in all that time.

Norma says that she wants to make the Fish Quay area vibrant and diverse, where people want to live, work and visit.

I feel sure even Norma would agree that the former Tyne Brand site is not much of a visitor attraction, yet residents of the Irvin Building, who overlook the site, are expected to put up with it.

The clapped out fence surrounding the site is routinely scaled by young people, to whom it must surely pose a health hazard.

The Fish Quay is a crucial part of our local heritage and its regeneration in recent years has been very encouraging, but the Tyne Brand site remains a disgraceful blot on the landscape.

It is regrettable that Mrs Redfearn’s administration seems incapable of making progress to move things on.

What is the point of improving Bell Street because “it was an eyesore”, only for there to remain an even bigger eyesore a few hundred yards further along the road? Why not show some real commitment to the Fish Quay and tackle this long overdue project?

No doubt we will have to wait for answers to those questions for another four years until the next time there is a mayoral election. By that time we will only have been waiting nearly 50 years for something to be done.

Jean McLaughlin