Agenda and minutes

Bishop Auckland Stronger Town Board - Monday 20 March 2023 2.30 pm

Venue: The Spanish Gallery, Market Place, Bishop Auckland

Contact: Jill Errington  03000 269703

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Andrew Walker (AAP), Bishop Paul Butler, Jonathan Ruffer and Amy Harhoff.


Declarations of interest


David Maddan declared TAP’s interest in Lightfoot House adjacent to the Kingsway Square area.


David Maddan and Jonathan Ruffer declared TAP’s interest in the DDG, Kingsway Square, Market Place hotel, ESAC and Artists’ Hub.


Rob Yorke declared that he was the Chair of The Auckland Project (TAP).


Natalie Davison-Terranova declared an interest in the Springboard to Employment Project as she was employed by Bishop Auckland College, a delivery partner in the initiative.


Minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2023 pdf icon PDF 209 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2023 were agreed as a correct record subject to an amendment to remove the Councillor prefix from David Land in the list of attendees.


Matters Arising


Councillor Siddle referred to future events at the Artists Hub should be considered collaboratively between the County Council, Town Council and TAP to avoid any repetition, however he suggested that events would naturally fall within the Town Councils responsibility.


Programme Update

Presentation slides attached


The Board received a Programme Update with regards to recent progress of the ongoing Bishop Auckland projects, including milestones leading up to 2025.


Mark Jackson provided the Board with a programme overview and confirmed that business case summary documents had all been submitted.


Three initial programmes, South Church Enterprise, Springboard to Employment and the Heritage Walking and Cycling Routes were awaiting a confirmation email.


There were some project adjustments to the Durham Dales Gateway and Tindale Triangle which were awaiting approval before the summary documents could be approved.


The business case summary documents had been submitted for sign off this week and would take a minimum of two weeks to a month for approval, however the assessments would run concurrently and the process would be completed by the end of April.


Whilst the ESAC business case was being progressed with the DfT leading on the assessment, analysts and commercial colleagues would meet to compare notes during the week commencing 10 April and shortly after would submit any amendments to the design to the Council.  After the planning application was determined there would be a three period for judicial review before the payment could be progressed.


The Town Centre Diversification projects may need to be approved by Ministers.


There had been some money shifted between the Tindale Triangle and Durham Dales Gateway as the scope of this project had reduced.


There were fortnightly meetings with TAP to ensure that each of the projects were and costs were being monitored.




In response to a question from the Chair, Craig MacLennan confirmed that good progress was being made and there was a detailed programme up to completion.  There had already been positive meeting with Statutory Consultees and aside from the discovery of a badger set, no major issues had arisen.


Chris Knights queried the route and whether it would include the use of the existing bridge over Auckland way.  Craig MacLennan advised that the route crossed over level and Auckland would give way to the new road and appropriate crossing facilities were included, with improvements to existing footpaths and the provision of an east west link north to south crossing points.


Public Realm Schemes


The Board were advised that an interactive map was in the process of being created, which users would be able to hover over and view include graphics of all of the projects, including site photographs, in addition to 2D and 3D montages of the designs.


The Market Place Hotel had been shared in a public meeting in January.  The design was cost dependent and subject to planning statutory consultations and approval.  In response to a question from the Chair, Jonathan Gilroy confirmed that the summary document had to be reviewed and approved, before progressing to payment which was subject to performance monitoring, tracking progress spend and delivery.  There would be periodic calls from the department of communications, with regards to openings and ministerial visits.


In response to a question from Councillor Scott, Mark Jackson advised that the expected  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Aimsun Traffic Model Presentation


The Board considered a presentation of the Aimsun Traffic model for the ESAC project which had been undertaken to include in the business case.


The models shown were based on high traffic periods and evenings of  special events such as Kynren and the ESAC junction was shown that there would be no queuing over three lanes at peak times.


The signalised junction was able to be tailored to cater for levels of traffic at different times.


The model was tailored from opening in 2026 up to 2035.  Under normal circumstances they would be over ten years however the County Durham Plan was up to 2035.


As part of the scheme roadmarkings would be brought up to standard.


In response to a question, Craig MacLennan advised that although modelling had been done for Tindale Triangle, different software had been used.


AGREED that the presentation be noted.


The meeting ended at 3.50 pm.



Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 28 June 2023 at 2.30pm in The Elgar Room, Bishop Auckland Town Hall


The next meeting would be held on 28 June 2023 at 2.30pm in the Elgar Room Bishop Auckland Town Hall.