Footballing family backing Cambois regeneration plans after reopening local landmark pub

December 23, 2010 | Cambois News

The son of a north east football legend is making a major contribution to the renaissance of a Northumberland village by investing £400,000 in reopening a landmark pub that his dad frequented 60 years ago.

John Charlton, son of World Cup winner and ex-Newcastle manager Jack Charlton, has invested the money in reopening and refurbishing the new Charlton’s pub in Cambois, just a few miles from Ashington where his father was born and brought up.

The venue, which is on Cambois Farm Road, had previously been closed for two years, but after an initial six-month refurbishment programme, John reopened part of it in July 2010 and is busy finalising the food facilities which are scheduled to open by January next year.

And he is now backing plans to create a new sustainable coastal community at the former mining village, which are due to be put before Northumberland County Council’s planning committee in 2011.

Regional developer Banks Property, part of The Banks Group, has put forward proposals for the scheme, which would encompass around 323 new homes built on 19 hectares of predominantly brownfield land.

As well as the new houses, which would be built to high eco-standards throughout, and which would include affordable properties and retirement homes, a wide range of other new facilities would be added, including retail, leisure and medical amenities.

Banks carried out a door-to-door survey* of homes in the village last year to find out what local people’s opinions of their plans were, and found that more than three quarters of those surveyed were in favour of the proposed development.

John has now launched a petition in his pub in favour of the scheme, which has already been signed by around 100 local people, and is advising the council to think about the village’s urgent need for new facilities and its long-term future when they review the planning application.

He says: “Our family has long established links to both this area and the pub, which my dad used to come down and visit with his friends in the early 1950s – being the biggest of them, he’d be the one to go to the bar to get the drinks, even though they were all a bit too young to be in there!

“This was always a popular pub before it closed down, so we knew there would be a lot of interest if we took the refurbishment project on, and the reception we’ve had from both local people and visitors since reopening has been fantastic.

“Cambois is a wonderful seaside location in a nice area, something which often surprises people who come here having heard all the negative things people often say about the place – before accepting this sort of hearsay, everyone should take the time to visit, so they can make up their minds for themselves on what they actually see.

“Reopening the pub has had a very positive effect on the community, but we’re still desperately short of the sorts of facilities that would make the village even more vibrant.

“The development that’s being proposed would bring the investment required to make this happen, which is why I’m so keen to see it happen, and I’ve already had quite a few people who’ve signed my petition saying that they’d be keen to buy houses when they’re built, which shows there is enthusiasm for it elsewhere in the village.”

Banks’ proposed development site lies to the east of the A189 East Northumberland Spine Road, one of the region’s key development corridors.  Renewable energy sources would be utilised to power the new development, which would also have its own combined heat and power facility.

Justin Hancock, senior planner at Banks Property, says: “The response we had to our community survey last year was one of the most positive we’ve ever had to any of our schemes, and through the consultation process that has been going on in the area since them, we know there’s a real desire amongst local people for the regeneration of their village.

“The scheme we’ve put forward contains both a clear vision for the revitalisation of the Cambois community and a firm commitment to see the work through, something which is just as important at a time where major infrastructure investments like this are extremely rare.

“John’s backing for our plans is extremely welcome, and we wish him every success with his exciting new venture.”

Anyone in the area who would like to find out more about the scheme or express their views should contact Jan Gill at Banks Property on 0844 209 1515 or email cambois@banksgroup.co.uk

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