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Plan to build £16m underground reservoir

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Herbert Soden

Plans for a £16m underground reservoir that would supply water to 50,000 people have been revealed.

Northumbrian Water has applied for planning permission for a new covered service reservoir, capable of storing more than 62 million litres of water, near Springwell Village.

The water company’s planning consultants Lichfields submitted applications for the scheme to Sunderland and Gateshead councils earlier this month.

Michael Baker, Northumbrian Water’s tactical planning manager, said: "The area which will be fed by this new service reservoir includes Springwell, as well as the wider Wearside and South Tyneside areas.

"The service reservoir, which will consist of two reinforced concrete compartments would be covered with grass to fit in with the local environment, will help to ensure a resilient water supply for the area, strengthening the existing network in the area. “

Newcastle city centre stabbing victim named

Peter Duncan
Family Handout

A man who was stabbed to death in Newcastle city centre has been named as Peter Duncan.

The 52-year-old was assaulted inside the door of the Eldon Square shopping centre off Old Eldon Square on Wednesday evening.

Northumbria Police said it believes he was attacked with a screwdriver in a "chance encounter".

His family said: "Peter was a kind and caring man who was always first to help others.

"He was a devoted father, husband, son, brother, uncle and friend and loved by all who knew him. His death will leave such a huge hole in our lives and he’ll be deeply missed by us all.

"Words can’t quite describe what life will be like without him. He had so much of his life left to live and he’ll be in our hearts and thoughts every day."

Seven teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

County Durham has the most top grades in A-Level Media Studies

Students receive their A-level results
Getty Images

Students in County Durham have scored the highest pass rate of A and A* in Media Studies in England, with 17.5 % of pupils achieving the top grades, Ofgual figures show.

In Maths, which was the most popular subject this year, County Durham students gained most A and A* regionally, as 43.8% of students reached the highest grade.

This is slightly ahead of Northumberland (43.6%) and Tyne and Wear (39.2%).

Seven teenagers arrested over fatal stabbing in Newcastle

Seven teenagers have now been arrested after a man was stabbed to death in Newcastle city centre.

A 52-year-old man was assaulted inside the door of the shopping centre at Old Eldon Square on Wednesday evening. He was taken to hospital where he died.

Northumbria Police believe he was stabbed in the chest with a screwdriver.

Seven males - a 14-year-old, two 15-year-olds and four 17-year-olds - have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Ch Supt Ged Noble, said: “This is a tragic and shocking incident where a man has sadly lost his life.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim and they are being supported by specialist officers at this extremely difficult time.

“Our investigation is ongoing but we have very quickly arrested seven teenagers in connection with the incident, one of which we believe to be the main suspect."

The area remains under patrol.

Six arrests over 'stab victim's' death

A murder investigation is under way after a man was stabbed to death in Newcastle city centre.

The 52-year-old, whose name has not yet been released, died in hospital following an assault outside a Greggs bakery near Old Eldon Square at about 18:20 on Wednesday in which he suffered injuries "consistent with a stabbing".

Six men have been arrested on suspicion of murder and Northumbria Police have appealed for information.

Cordon around Eldon Square
Police can near Eldon Square

Bikes stolen from German tourists returned by Northumbria Police

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

Two German tourists who had their motorcycles stolen in Newcastle have thanked the team of detectives who tracked them down in time for their journey home.

The couple called Northumbria Police after seeing their bikes, one worth £15,000, being stolen from their Newcastle hotel car park.

The victims were due to catch a ferry at that afternoon and ride their bikes home to Germany.

Detectives on Northumbria Police's Operation Benelli taskforce searched the area, spoke to witnesses and trawled through CCTV before finding one of the stolen motorcycles just yards from the victims' hotel. Detectives found the second vehicle at an address on Westmorland Road.

The victims were reunited with the bikes in time to make their ferry back to Amsterdam.

officer with a found bike
Northumbria Police

Pair quizzed after car 'driven into Tyne'

Two people have been questioned by police after a car was reportedly driven into the River Tyne near Blaydon.

Emergency services were called at about 17:00 on Monday after receiving reports a black Renault Clio was in the water near Scotswood Bridge.

Northumbria Police said the 18-year-old driver and his 17-year-old passenger were located and later released pending further inquiries.

The pair were not injured and no-one else was in the vehicle, a spokesman added.

Ten arrests so far in Newcastle shooting investigation

Ten arrests have been made after a teenager was shot in the leg in Newcastle.

It happened on Bentick Road in Elswick on Wednesday.

It was not initially reported and officers only found out when a 19-year-old was taken to hospital with injuries to his leg.

A 37-year-old remains in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Nine other people have been released under investigation.

People rescued in Hamsterley Forest thanks to online location finder

A rescue team found three people lost in Hamsterley Forest by using an online location finder called "what3words".

An algorithm developed by the start-up company divides the world into 57 trillion nine-sq-m (97-sq-ft) areas and gives each a unique three-word address.

The technology has been adopted by a number of emergency services in the UK.

The Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team were able to locate the people and get them back to their vehicle.

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Restoration work on Penshaw Monument

Funding of £200,000 has been secured for the restoration of Penshaw Monument in Sunderland.

The money from Highways England’s Environment Designated Fund will go towards a National Trust project to improve access and reduce erosion on Penshaw Hill.

Works are due to start in autumn this year and are expected to finish by spring 2020.

The monument will remain fully accessible while new steps are being installed.

Image of Penshaw monument
Photo by Jonathan Swingler

Houses raided in Newcastle shooting investigation

BBC Newcastle

Two homes in Newcastle's West End have been raided after a teenager was shot in the leg last week, police said.

The shooting on Bentick Road in Elswick on Wednesday was not initially reported and officers only found out when a 19-year-old was taken to hospital with injures to his leg.

Northumbria Police said it is an isolated incident and there's no risk to the wider public.

Arrests after online 'Copper Cabana' campaign

An online campaign has contributed to three arrests in 48 hours, police have said.

Copper Cabana is a themed social media campaign set up by Northumbria Police.

It features photos of suspects and invites them to come and enjoy a summer holiday in the cells.

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While hundreds of Facebook and Twitter users say they've loved the campaign, a few have complained it's not taking crime seriously enough and questioned whether the suspects featured should be innocent until proven guilty.

Northumbria Police says the campaign has reached a million people in just a few days and that using humour has been the key to that success.

Jack Ross

Scott Mullen

BBC Sport Scotland

BBC Scotland speaks to Sunderland manager Jack Ross about Netflix, promotion and his legacy after 12 months in the north east.

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Cable theft causing travel distruptions

Cable thieves are causing trains between Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Sunderland to run slower than normal this morning.

Northern says the cables control signalling, which means trains need to slow to run safely.

It's not known when a normal timetable will resume.

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Multimillion-pound bid to restore Tyne Bridge begins

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Daniel Holland

A £40m bid to restore the Tyne Bridge and Central Motorway is officially being sent to the government.

It is one of the four local projects put forward by Transport for the North (TfN) for investment.

Relief roads for Blyth and Durham, as well as improvements to Wessington Way in Sunderland are also on the list.

Repainting and repairing the Tyne Bridge is expected to cost between £15m and £20m.

The 90-year-old crossing last underwent major maintenance work two decades ago.

Tyne Bridge
NCJ Media

Man arrested after car driven into tanning shop

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

A 31-year-old man has been arrested after a car mounted a kerb and smashed into the front of a tanning shop.

The car mounted the kerb and hit Tan Solo, in Ryhope Road, at 09.15 on Tuesday.

No-one was hurt but a 14-year-old boy who was in the shop was taken to hospital as a precaution. There was significant damage to the shop, police said.

Northumbria Police said the driver left the scene and the vehicle they believe was involved was found abandoned in the Villette Path area of the city.

Damage to Tan Solo

Powercut in Sunderland

Anna Snowdon

BBC Local Live

The power is out in almost 2,00 properties in Sunderland.

Northern Powergrid says it is aware of an outage in the SR7 and SR8 postcodes.

It says it hopes to get the supply back on within the next hour.

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Sunderland shipping container plans approved

Local Democracy Reporting Service

James Harrison

Plans to create bars, restaurants and a crazy golf course out of shipping containers in Sunderland have been given the go-ahead.

Stack will be built on the site of the old Seaburn centre, on the seafront.

It will mirror a similar setup in the centre of Newcastle.

Although the plans have been approved, as the development is 5,000 sq m of town centre use, it will also be referred to the government for final approval


Council backs £16m hotel plan for Sunderland

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Chris Binding

Plans for a £16m hotel development in Sunderland, which it is promised will bring 130 jobs to the city, have been approved by councillors.

The 120-room Holiday Inn is proposed for Keel Square.

City councillors backed the plans despite opposition from Sunderland Civic Society and some nearby businesses concerned about potential noise issues.

Artist's impression of new hotel
Sunderland City Council

Planning officers said the development would be covered by a construction management plan which would work to minimise disruption.

Development control sub-committee chairman Phil Tye said: “It’s important that we welcome a new development into the city centre but it’s also important that we respect our tenants, business owners and the business adjacent to the site.”

Tory councilor quits party to stand as Brexit MP

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Viral Parikh
West Sussex County Council

A West Sussex councillor has quit the Conservative Party and announced he hopes to become an MP more than 300 miles away, standing for the Brexit Party in Sunderland.

Viral Parikh, who represents a ward in Chichester and was elected in 2017, said: “I am leaving Conservative Party because of national politics and our MPs refusing to accept democratic mandate from people.

“Politics needs to be changed and will of the people should be and must be respected."

When asked if he plans to continue as a county councillor until the general election is called, he said: “Absolutely. Nothing has changed. I will be working for my residents from the opposition.”

Speeding crackdown to be launched across Cleveland and Durham

A policeman monitoring traffic

Officers across Cleveland and Durham are taking part in a national campaign aimed at tackling speeding drivers.

The campaign will begin on Monday 12 August and run until the Sunday.

The last speeding campaign, held in January, caught 1,864 drivers speeding in Cleveland and Durham - 133 a day.

Cleveland Police says inappropriate speed contributes to 11% of all injury collisions; 15% of all crashes resulting in serious injury and 24% of all fatal collisions nationally.

Insp Jon Curtis, of Cleveland Police, said: “There have been too many cases of families losing loved ones due to speeding drivers.

"The devastation left behind cannot be put into words and it can be so easily avoided.”

Man charged with drink driving after woman killed in A1 crash

A man has been charged with drink driving after a woman was killed in a crash.

The crash - involving a silver Toyota Auris and Ford Transit van - happened on Friday evening on the southbound side of the A1(M) near the Newton Aycliffe junction.

The woman, a passenger in the Auris, was taken to Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital where she later died.

Two other male passengers in the Auris were also taken to hospital.

One is seriously injured while the other is described as stable.

The 34-year-old driver of the Transit van is due before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court later charged with drink driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He is also charged aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance.

Durham Police

Tip-off leads to £250,000 South Shields cannabis farm discovery

Cannabis plants
Northumbria Police

Police have thanked the public after a tip-off led to the discovery of a £250,000 cannabis farm.

On Thursday afternoon last week, police on patrol near Chichester Metro station were approached by a member of the public who reported suspected suspicious activity at an address on Derwentwater Terrace, South Shields.

Police then discovered a sophisticated cannabis operation involving approximately 350 plants growing inside the house.

The plants were thought to have a street value of up to £250,000 and have since been destroyed.

Inquiries are ongoing to trace the property owner.

South Tyneside and Sunderland health shake-up

Colin Briggs

Look North

Controversial changes to hospital care in South Tyneside and Sunderland take effect from today.

The children’s emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital will close every night from 22:00 and reopen at 08:00 BST.

Overnight emergency care for children under 17 will be provided at the Sunderland Royal instead and a new midwifery-led birthing centre serving South Tyneside and Sunderland will open at South Shields.

Opponents of the moves are expected to demonstrate outside South Tyneside hospital this lunchtime.

Getty Images

Police car crashes responding to emergency call

A police officer escaped serious injury after his patrol car crashed on an emergency call in Newcastle.

It happened in Kenton Lane last night at around 19:25 BST when it hit another vehicle, before colliding with a parked car.

The officer driving was taken to hospital and no one else is reported to have been injured.


Sunderland's status as League One's draw specialists continues as they suffer a frustrating start to the new campaign against Oxford.

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Severe accident: A183 Tyne And Wear eastbound

BBC News Travel

A183 Tyne And Wear eastbound severe accident, from St Mark's Road to East Cleft Road.

A183 Tyne And Wear - A183 Chester Road in Sunderland closed and it's heavy eastbound from the St Mark's Road junction to the East Cleft Road junction, because of an accident involving a single vehicle. Diversion in operation - Stagecoach bus routes 8,16 and X24 are being diverted.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Dozens of dolphins spotted off North East coastline

Volunteers have been keeping an eye on the North East coastline this week as part of the National Whale and Dolphin Watch event.

Throughout the week, sightings of dozens of dolphins have been reported to the Sea Watch Foundation.

Sixty-six Bottlenose dolphins were spotted at Whitburn Bird Observatory between 27 and 30 July.

A further 25 dolphins were seen at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea in Northumberland on Tuesday.

More sightings were recorded at Roker Pier and Berwick as well.

A dolphin
Getty Images