Events licence for North Marine Park withdrawn

Plans to expand South Tyneside’s outdoor live entertainment offer at a seafront park have been temporarily shelved.

Thursday, 6th June 2019, 5:24 pm
North Marine Park users against South Tyneside Council's proposal to hold events in the park.

Earlier this year, South Tyneside Council lodged plans for an event licence for North Marine Park.

In an application to its own licensing department, it aimed to allow shows in the park at any time between 10am and 8pm, seven days a week.

While the council insisted this would only include small scale community events, including storytelling and dance, the plans sparked a raft of objections.

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This included a 170-signature petition and fears over noise pollution.

As the application was officially withdrawn this week, Beacon and Bents ward councillors welcomed the move.

Labour’s Coun Angela Hamilton said: “I submitted a request asking for it be withdrawn and that we don’t do anything until we have full consultation involving as many of the residents as possible.

“We need to make sure we get it right. I don’t think there is an issue with a licence if it is what the people want and it is for small events.

“But we need to get some public opinion on that.”

Green Party councillor, David Francis, added there was a “clear divide amongst the public” over the plans.

“The friends group has put a lot of time and energy into looking after the south and north park over the years and – I don’t want to put words in their mouth – but they may feel that this is setting them back a few steps,” he said.

“But we believe there are other people who have slightly different opinions, so we just want to make sure we have all of those opinions before we make a future application.”

The events bid fell against the backdrop of a £3.2million investment to return the park to its original Victorian splendour, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

This includes a new themed play area, restoring the park’s original features and wider improvements to open areas, lighting, seating, footpaths and the bowling area.

Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy on South Tyneside Council, Coun John Anglin stressed the park will remain a “family friendly green oasis in South Shields.”

“It is an important part of our cultural heritage and  our commitment to its preservation have been clearly demonstrated in the council’s successful endeavours to bring forward millions of pounds of external funding for it,” he said.

“North Marine Park was designed to be an asset for the community and original features such as the promenade and the aviary encourage social gatherings.

“As part of that successful (HLF) bid we will need to deliver occasional, small scale community events such as storytelling, family fun days, small plays or dances in the future.

“Some activities will require a licence and we will consider the available options nearer the time and have therefore withdrawn the current licence application.”

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service