Saturday, 18 June 2011

A Vision for Aycliffe in 2030

The County Plan for County Durham is published, and out for consultation. Below, you will find my vision for Aycliffe in 2030. Could this be your Vision too? More and more people are saying that they agree with it.
I am hoping that it might form the basis of a more-or-less unanimous view, BY Aycliffe people, of what they want FOR Aycliffe in the next 20 years.
One thing I am certain of: if we don't ask for it. We won't get it.
If you agree, please tell the County Council.
You could email:
If you agree with me, all you need to say is: 'I agree with John D Clare's Vision for Aycliffe'.
If you don't agree, that's fine too -- just say where your vision would be different!

The thriving Industrial Estate has by 2030 become a regional hub for economic activity and the basis for EVERYTHING. It has grown substantially in every aspect – area, number of firms, number of jobs. Situated on the A1 corridor at the southern entrance to the County, it is nationally recognised as the warehousing base for the north-east region, and there is a constant flow of lorries in and out of the Estate. The manufacturing sector has survived through difficult times, and the Estate has also attracted a number of leisure providers (children’s play areas, bowling alley etc.). The number of jobs offered has increased to more than 12,000, and the Estate provides employment for people from all over South Durham. The Estate’s success has become a factor attracting firms to set up their regional headquarters on a thriving Aykley Heads business park in Durham.

A direct road link to Teesside has been established by the construction of a ‘Darlington northern by-pass’ direct-route link road cross-country from the A1M roundabout to the A66.

Aycliffe’s population has grown proportionately to the economic growth of the Industrial Estate. A number of discrete, private-housing areas have been built on the Children's Centre site. Surrounded by established woodlands and extensive ‘wild’ areas, they are healthy environmentally, and relaxing and attractive for the residents. The right-of-way has been reinstated to provide walking access into the Carrs.

Near the centre of town, there have been by 2030 significant housing developments. Through partnership working with Sedgefield Borough Homes, appropriate numbers of social housing have been provided for the less advantaged members of the community. They are within walking distance of the town centre, but a regular bus service provides sustainable access.
Even closer to the town centre facilities, large numbers of bungalows (including some sheltered housing schemes) provide homes for the older members of the community. The social services which support them are situated in offices in the Town Centre.

On the western outskirts of the town, on the Eldon Whins site, stand a limited number of executive houses. Again, they are intersected by extensive eco-areas. The established woodlands around about provide an atmosphere of luxury and tranquillity. To the north of the town, Washington Developments have established a successful high-quality hotel and golf club, along with a further number of high-quality houses.

The C35 has been upgraded, not to carry industrial traffic, but sufficiently to cope with the increased volume of resident and commuter traffic to the A689 and the A1M. The upgrade includes environmental measures to allow safe travel of wildlife across the road into the environmental areas of the town.

Although environmentally the town had already achieved a mature and ‘green’ aspect by 2011, the environment has by 2030 further matured and is now recognised as being one of the most physically beautiful towns in the County. A Town Council with enhanced powers protects the environment through increased oversight over planning, and by coordinating significantly-increased voluntary activity. Since the County Council gave it control over all the Council-owned environmental land on a long lease, the Town Council has administered a pro-active environmental policy which ensures sustainability. It is an active and critical member of the Tees Valley Biodiversity project.

With Council guidance and grant-aided investment, Aycliffe Village – the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the town – has begun to explore its potential as a tourist attraction.

The Town Centre by 2030 has become a place worth visiting. It has shed its ‘declining ‘60s new town’ feel and is open and architecturally-pleasing. Planners finally realised that they could never go back to the old ‘High Street’, and have developed a ‘retail-park’ form of shopping centre appropriate to the 21st Century.
A number of large and prestige retail outlets – including an electrical retailer and a furniture outlet – have built large stores, even though this involved demolishing substantial sections of the old shops. The Thames Centre has also been demolished, and the entire southern end has been roofed and turned into a shopping mall similar to the Cornmill in Darlington.
The town centre continues to incorporate a large open area on which a thriving market takes place every Tuesday.
Burn Lane has been upgraded to handle the increased traffic to this thriving retail-park-cum-shopping-centre.

1 comment:

  1. A great vision to aim for John. If we don't have a target how can we expect achieve anything?
    I'll back this (hopefully achievable) future for Newton Aycliffe.