Houses for former club site

Coun Alan Cox pictured at the former Blackhall Workingmens Club site.
Coun Alan Cox pictured at the former Blackhall Workingmens Club site.

PLANS for new homes on the site of a former workingmen’s club look set to be given the go-ahead.

Dennis Harley Developments has submitted plans to build 11 houses on the site of the former Blackhall Workingmen’s Club, in Cemetery Road.

The properties will be set within two blocks, one containing four terraced properties and the other housing seven properties.

There would be 18 parking spaces available at the front of the three-bedroomed houses.

The former workingmen’s club, thought to have been built in the 1950s, was knocked down just before Christmas.

Councillor Alan Cox’s father Alfred died in May 1978 after 31 years as secretary of the club and was a founder member.

Coun Cox, who represents the Blackhall ward, said: “I have got a lot of history in that club.

“It’s a shame to see it demolished and go the way it has.”

He said the smoking ban and cheap supermarket alcohol prices were factors in the club’s demise and added: “We should have done more to save it.”

Coun Cox added that stars to perform at the club in its heyday included Alvin Stardust, the Nolan Sisters and The Bachelors.

The plans are recommended for approval by planning officers and will be heard during a meeting of Durham County Council’s central and east area planning committee on Tuesday.

Monk Hesleden Parish Council raised a number of concerns about the development.

These included concerns for the narrow width of an access road, the need for adequate car parking, how the site will be enclosed and asked for reassurances that nearby Cemetery Road would not be used for construction purposes. Two letters of objection from neighbouring properties, stating concern for increased traffic and issues with car parking at the site and neighbouring Glenholme Terrace, were also received.

But a report to Tuesday’s meeting says there will be a boundary to the east of the properties, along Cemetery Road, to mitigate the concerns from the Parish Council.

There will also be widening and improvement of the road along the rear of Glenholme Terrace and the highways authority says it is satisfied there would be no significant problems caused by increased traffic.

The report concludes: “It is considered that the design and layout are acceptable and the development would not have any adverse impacts on surrounding residents or the street scene.

“Overall, it is considered that the proposal is acceptable in planning terms and would contribute toward the ongoing regeneration of Blackhall and the county as a whole.”