The Trust Projects, The SCA, Neighbourhood Crime, The Sedgefield Plan plus more

Sedgefield Village Action Group: Important Information for Residents

Taylor Wimpey have submitted an outline application for 60 homes on land known as the stables field, on the left on Stockton Road coming into the town from A689. Yet again, the green land around Sedgefield is being eaten up by more large scale development. The houses planned are mainly large (2½ storeys high), 4 & 5 bedroom detached homes with 10% affordable housing and no provision at all for bungalows.

This open land is important to the historic entrance to the town as green fields either side of Stockton Road provide a rural approach to the centre, through to the conservation area, giving it that village feel. Development here will have a huge negative impact. The land rises up to the village centre so views of the church from A689 and A177 will be affected significantly.

Sedgefield continues to be bombarded with housing applications, and remains extremely vulnerable, firstly because DCC do not have a county plan, which means that there is no definitive assessed housing need for Sedgefield, and secondly because DCC continue to put up barrier after barrier to the progress of the Sedgefield Plan. The delays have caused worry and deep frustration to residents and Sedgefield Town Council and have given every advantage to the developers.

Residents recognised that the town needed new development and agreed to 300 houses. Up to 400 have now been agreed. Refused applications on other green fields surrounding Sedgefield mount up to over 600. We know from experience that developers will resubmit, time and again. There is nothing in place to stop them!

If this latest application is passed, the argument against a development on the other side of the road is lessened and the outlying boundary for Sedgefield just gets bigger and bigger. On behalf of residents who made their views clear in the formation of the Sedgefield Plan, we will vigorously oppose this development. We’re well past the stage of ‘enough is enough’ and in very real danger of losing the small town, with a ‘village at its heart’ that we enjoy and benefit from.

SVAG has also been informed that work begins on the 300 residential lodges on Brakes Farm early in 2018. This will of course impact on the infrastructure and local amenities. More support from local residents is needed, in order to make a stand. Please contact us via email: or call Liz on 07523 457584.

Sedgefield Village Neighbourhood & Crime Watch Panel

The Alan Sowerby Citizenship Award 2017 to Sam Morrison at Sedgefield Community College

PC Todd-Crime Report

Somewhat later than normal, the presentation at the college took place on November 11th, when the award, made by Neighbourhood Watch Vice Chairman David Hillerby, was presented to this year’s most deserving young citizen, year 10 pupil Sam Morrison.

Sam has been described as a real “role model” both in and out of school. He has successfully represented the College at various events throughout each of his years at the College. He has been most involved in Science related events which have taken him to venues such as NETPark and Durham University.

Neighbourhood Watch commend Sam for his consideration for others and his willingness to support and assist individuals and groups, both at school and outside school in the local community; we wish him every success for the future.

PC Todd-Crime Report
PC Todd-Crime Report

Once again we have received complaints about the general behaviour of groups of youths around the centre of the village. To prevent further problems can I urge parents to speak with their children advising them not to gather in large groups and to keep the noise down to a respectable level. As the possession and consumption of alcohol is a major factor causing anti-social behaviour, any youth caught flouting the rules will be robustly dealt with. The majority of youths are well behaved and so I hope that common sense will prevail.

Crimes committed recently include a burglary at the racecourse, a house burglary in The Lane, a garage burglary in The Garth and the theft of some lengths of RSJ from a property in Cragside. Vehicle crimes recorded were the thefts of a Ford Transit van from Naylor Road and a trailer from the Country Park. Tyres were also slashed on one vehicle in Sainsbury’s car park and another parked in Wellgarth Mews. Three persons were arrested for shoplifting meat at Bolam's.

Pub Watch

A meeting was held recently at The Hardwick Arms Hotel. No incidents requiring action were reported in members’ premises.

Police are urging car owners to take extra care when de-icing their vehicles following the theft of a van after the driver left the vehicle un-attended with the engine running. Drivers should not leave keys in their vehicles just to save time, because it makes them so vulnerable to opportunist thieves. It takes about two minutes to de-ice, but just two seconds for a thief to steal it!

Until next time, Keith.

SDT Projects

Sedgefield Farmers’ Market - Sunday 3rd December

Our market has really thrived this year. In May we broke our record with16 produce stalls, plus music, maypole dancing and a number of community & charity stalls. Since then we have operated at or above that level, and interest continues to grow, so you can be sure of a plentiful range of meat, fish, cheese, sausages, pies, cakes, preserves and crafts on December 3rd - and as ever, the queue will form early for Mellanby’s ever popular winter veg!
We are very proud of our Bees at Hardwick project, and they have a stall this month. They will talk honey, beeswax, bee-life in general until the cows come home! Butterwick Hospice will be with us too, as well as festive singing from Sedgefield Lyrics Youth Choir and Lirica.
Whatever you do and whatever you buy, do keep warm with our festive freebies - delicious alcohol free ginger wine and luscious, teeny tiny mince pies - served all morning on a slightly sticky Development Trust stall!

Sedgefield Energy Switch

Recent registrations greater than the same time last year. After a slow start, we're pleased to report that final numbers exceeded those of last year and the scheme continues to attract new people. As reported last month, SSE again won the auction by producing market leading tariffs. Costs for next year indicate an increase on last year but that seems to be significantly less than the market average quoted by the media during this last year.
SDT still believes that Energy Switch gives residents the best opportunity of accessing cost effective energy tariffs, so we intend to continue the scheme next year.
The next auction will be held in February so full instructions will appear next month. Meanwhile, don’t forget that if your existing energy contract comes to an end before the end of April 2018, you will need to register for this auction.

Homework Club

We hope to launch a homework help group in the New Year, so that any local students between approximately 8 and 18 will be able to find support from our volunteers - or maybe just a quiet space in which to work. This will not be teaching, tuition or child-minding; helpers (all will be DBS-checked)who are willing to share their knowledge or help untangle any difficulties with things that pupils are learning. Please keep sending me your ideas. Would you like to volunteer? What day and time of day would work best for you? What subjects interest you? Tamzin Lafford.

New Year in the Greenwood-to-be!

Exciting news on the SDT's Woodland and Wildlife area at NETPark, with confirmation of a Woodland Trust grant of 420 trees to be planted in March.
Planting days will probably turn out to be family affairs, because all ages will be welcome, and of course more days will follow, with wildflowers and hedges to plant as well as ongoing management for Wildlife. This is for the long term.
More news follows soon, but meanwhile, if you would like to be part of our latest venture, please get in touch with Trust chairman, Roger Clubley on 07803 269956, for a chat about the project. A walk around the site will be arranged in the New Year for everyone interested. There's such a lot to look forward to!

Days In, Days Out

Another successful Charity Dance supported by SDT. A big thank you to all who supported our Halloween Charity Fundraising Event on Saturday 28th October in the Parish Hall.
We raised £600, which was divided equally between North East Air Ambulance and The Teenage Cancer Trust Unit, Ward 4, Great North Children’s Hospital. Local group, Tumbledown and Lee Davies provided the entertainment, and caterers, Robinson’s brought the usual high standard ‘pies & peas’. Thank you all once again for making this such a special night.
Angela and Ron Bannister.

Ceddesfeld Hall-Home of Sedgefield Community Association

Life has been hectic at Ceddesfeld Hall over the autumn months. SCA were very pleased to host (free of charge) most of the events for Sedgefield Book Ends, a new festival, which was very successful. We look forward to supporting next year’s event.

We are looking forward to Christmas events and activities. The Christmas decorations are going up in time for the Christmas Craft Fayre (as part of this year’s snow party) on Saturday 2nd December from 1 - 3.45 pm in the main hall. There will be festive stalls, treats, toys, cards, tombola and refreshments.

Following the carols on the green, (Friday 22nd December at 6.30pm), folk are invited over to Ceddesfeld to enjoy a traditional glass of mulled wine. On the same evening, starting at 7.30 pm, Ceddesfeld Ukulele group is hosting a festive evening of entertainment. The event is free and open to anyone who wants to come along to enjoy and participate in some festive numbers as well as a range of other popular songs. Many of the different organisations and clubs that meet regularly in Ceddesfeld will also be enjoying their own Christmas parties and events. Details of the various community groups are on the SCA website. There is a lot going on so there’s no need to stay home over the dark winter nights.

Looking ahead to 2018, SCA are holding their traditional Burn’s Supper with piper, haggis, whisky and traditional poems and toasts on Saturday January 28th at 7pm, for £24 a ticket. Tickets for this very popular evening are now available from the numbers below or STC offices.

Ceddesfeld bar is open as usual throughout the festive season, Sunday to Friday evening, although we are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The bar and lounge will be open on Christmas Eve, with a trivia quiz (for those who wish to take part), plus nibbles and mince pies. SCA are also pleased to announce that the bar and foyer is scheduled for redecoration early in the New Year.

If you would like to become a volunteer in 2018, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. Events for 2018 are being finalised and will be on the website by the end of December.

For more information, contact Wendy, 620206: Pat, 620607: Sarah, 622185 or visit

A Force to be Reckoned With

Durham Constabulary is one of only two forces to have been graded ‘Outstanding’ in all respects in this year’s report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). This is the third year in a row that the Durham force has achieved this rare distinction. HMIC highlighted “a high level of achievement in financial planning” and “a culture of inclusivity” in the force’s management of its workforce. Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Ron Hogg praised the force for maintaining its consistently high standards and offered his “heartiest congratulations” to all those who have “worked so hard to make this possible”.

The role of a PCSO

Is to interact with the public and offer assistance to police officers at crime scenes and major events. They complete an initial three-week training course before gaining frontline experience in their PCSO role. Training covers practical issues such as an understanding of the law and a grounding in the use of police procedures and IT systems. It also gives an overview of the skills and strategies that can be used to help in their work dealing with minor offences and offering the early interventions that can often deter people from committing offences. Additionally, PCSOs provide crime prevention advice to the public and support for front-line policing. Other duties of a PCSO can include conducting house-to-house enquiries and you may also see them guarding crime scenes.

Deal did not benefit St Edmund’s

I hear that an old rumour has resurfaced to the effect that the church has benefitted from the sale of land for the current development, which I gather is to be called St Edmund's Manor. I wish it did. The land was not owned by the parish of Sedgefield, so we see not a penny of the deal; it goes to the Church Commissioners, who have responsibility for funding much of the clergy stipends and pensions, so it has to go a long way! It saddens me that people still seem to think the church is rolling in money. In fact, its resources are diminishing with inflation and I only hope the pension fund will see me out!

Rev Martin King

Thanks to Good Samaritans

Recently my husband had a fall near the junction of The Lane and Old Durham Road. Thankfully, numerous Good Samaritans went to his aid, to whom I am most grateful. He was not seriously injured, but understandably a little shaken. Sincere thanks to those who stopped to help; I appreciate your kindness and support.

Sheila McMillan

Breast Cancer Fundraising

On October 19th at Sedgefield cricket club, 90 ladies enjoyed afternoon tea and a makeup demonstration with Alan Pan, Estee Lauder international makeup artist. £1600.00 was raised for the charity, all proceeds from the day being donated. A big thank you to all who helped.

From Barbara Robinson, Janet Bell and Mavis Elders

Trimdons Sponsored Walk

On Saturday 21st October four of us walked around the Trimdon area from St. Mary Magdalene’s church. On our return, the Mayor & Mayoress, Mr & Mrs David Brown were there to meet us. We raised £311 for the Great North Air Ambulance and the Macular Society. Thanks to everyone who walked and sponsored us.

Suzanne Hopper