Darlington residents have their say on £30m leisure scheme

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter (Darlington)

VISITORS to the Dolphin Centre have had their say on the £30m leisure complex proposed for Darlington.

The public exhibition on Saturday included detailed designs for the Feethams Leisure scheme, which include a nine-screen multiplex cinema, a hotel and pubs on the riverside area of the town.

Scores of people visited throughout the afternoon and were encouraged to leave written feedback for the developers Terrace Hill.

Among those examining the designs was Joanne Boggitt, 38, of Grasmere Road who was positive about the scheme.

She said: “I think it is fantastic, particularly for the job prospects and regenerating that part of Darlington.

“I think it will be good for the town; I say let’s get it started.”

Marc Kay

“I was in Plymouth recently and they had a similar complex, but it was just like a hen and stag party capital with floods of drunken young people and it worries me a lot that could happen here.”

However, Marc Kay, 55, of Harrowgate Hill, questioned whether the complex would be sustainable and had concerns that the hotel and bars would attract large groups of hen and stag parties who could “flood” the town on a weekend.

He said: “I think it is ambitious and if it works it will be brilliant, but I am not sure that it is sustainable, I have reservations about the hotel.

“I think that we need to look at the town centre itself, we need something there whether it is a bus station or whatever; since they put that concrete jungle out there it has no character.”

Mr Kay added: “I was in Plymouth recently and they had a similar complex, but it was just like a hen and stag party capital with floods of drunken young people and it worries me a lot that could happen here.”

The public exhibition was part of the developers’ pre-application consultation phase and a planning application is expected to be submitted in April.

Simon Hawkins, development director at Terrace Hill, said the exercise had been a success.

“It has been really busy and I would say the majority of people I have spoken to have been very supportive.

“Some have been saying that it is long overdue, and you get questions about whether it will happen.

“Obviously this is part of the planning process and it is all subject to that process.”

If Terrace Hill’s planning application is successful, work could start on the site as early as February next year and be open to the public by December 2014.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:11pm Sun 3 Feb 13

stevegg says...

The usual council lipservice - the decision has already been made like all other council capital spending way before the public get involved! Its just something they are obliged to do and an irrelavance.
The usual council lipservice - the decision has already been made like all other council capital spending way before the public get involved! Its just something they are obliged to do and an irrelavance. stevegg
  • Score: 3

11:06pm Sun 3 Feb 13

Lifetime Townie says...

Good look with the project but don't forget the council is pulling in the opposite direction in the town by having a Supermarket in Garden Street and the big shops at the Commercial Street development. Never heard any more about Debenhams at Northern Echo building, it must have died?
Good look with the project but don't forget the council is pulling in the opposite direction in the town by having a Supermarket in Garden Street and the big shops at the Commercial Street development. Never heard any more about Debenhams at Northern Echo building, it must have died? Lifetime Townie
  • Score: 0

8:30am Mon 4 Feb 13

briatfry@gmail.com says...

we know pubs and restaraunts are good earners,but why not have abowling alley included?you just have to look around you you cant get a game at teeside park (bars restaraunts included) and a far bigger catchment area than the old bowling alley had in darlo
yours sincerly
Greenie
we know pubs and restaraunts are good earners,but why not have abowling alley included?you just have to look around you you cant get a game at teeside park (bars restaraunts included) and a far bigger catchment area than the old bowling alley had in darlo yours sincerly Greenie briatfry@gmail.com
  • Score: -1

9:00am Mon 4 Feb 13

oliviaden6 says...

Any development by a council is preconceived and for the good of the councils and councillors it is nodded through. What ever happened to the open house policy? These projects would be a lot easier to stomach and to argue for or against if the council and its officers were more open, what have they got to be scared or worried about, the people of the borough are not fools if a developement is note worth and good for the borough and the immediate area what have the council got to worry about? At the end of the day if it is being built for the people the people are the ones to ask as early as possible.
Any development by a council is preconceived and for the good of the councils and councillors it is nodded through. What ever happened to the open house policy? These projects would be a lot easier to stomach and to argue for or against if the council and its officers were more open, what have they got to be scared or worried about, the people of the borough are not fools if a developement is note worth and good for the borough and the immediate area what have the council got to worry about? At the end of the day if it is being built for the people the people are the ones to ask as early as possible. oliviaden6
  • Score: 2

1:43pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Spy Boy says...

On the face of it it looks like something we need in the town. As for what goes on behind the scenes between the council and the developers I could not possibly comment. No doubt there will be minutes to all the meetings. All the ones held in the Town Hall at least. If anyone has any issues over complicity then they should raise it legally, but beware of such a course on heresay alone. There's plenty of that about and plenty of conspiracy theories too.

Yes, the council have an arrogant lack of respect for the people they are supposed to serve. We see that every week in these forums. Whether or not this is going to be another white elephant remains to be seen. Surely we ratepayers can only make money on this scheme. The council sell the land and someone else does the work. How do we pay anything out towards this ? I can't see that the value of the land will add up to much though, considering the cost of the development.
On the face of it it looks like something we need in the town. As for what goes on behind the scenes between the council and the developers I could not possibly comment. No doubt there will be minutes to all the meetings. All the ones held in the Town Hall at least. If anyone has any issues over complicity then they should raise it legally, but beware of such a course on heresay alone. There's plenty of that about and plenty of conspiracy theories too. Yes, the council have an arrogant lack of respect for the people they are supposed to serve. We see that every week in these forums. Whether or not this is going to be another white elephant remains to be seen. Surely we ratepayers can only make money on this scheme. The council sell the land and someone else does the work. How do we pay anything out towards this ? I can't see that the value of the land will add up to much though, considering the cost of the development. Spy Boy
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree