Tonight’s edition of the Shields Gazette is a credit to the provincial press. With the headline “Council plans site sell off to private developer: Caravan Park in £1m deal" we are left in no doubt that South Tyneside Council and its Labour asset strippers are about to embark on the biggest sale of land the Borough has ever seen.
With the decision tp give Northumbrian Leisure a 125 year lease, the councils rejection on a dubious legal technicality of the request to have areas of surrounding land to be given village green status suddenly falls into place. They can’t afford to let these swathes of communal land (particularly the Dragon area) be preserved for future generations because the have “secret” plans for them. This is why at its inaugural meeting the Common Land, Town and Village Green Committee excluded the public and went into gagging session to discuss Mr Ahmed Khans application; it doesn’t want the public i.e. the people who elected them in the first place, to be aware that it intends to flog our heritage and open spaces to (not necessarily) the highest bidder.
The Gypsies Green development is clearly the tip of the iceberg, and any attempts to argue otherwise are facile and ill informed. No doubt the “Save Our Seafront” campaign will be viewing this news with outright horror. They also deserve a little bit of credit; they told us months ago exactly what was going to happen, and like a jigsaw, it’s all starting to fall into place.
What next for South Tyneside Council? Selling the sand to Arabs? Convert the Borough into one giant car boot sale and see what can be flogged of a discount prices? Or better still, do a bulk “buy one, get one free” deal with Tavistcok and get shot of the lot in one fell swoop. A ridiculous accusation to make?
Dont hold your breath!