Planning Teesside 1970


Is this “a nightmare future of science fiction horror”? With a sound track of Hammond Organ funk, local government politicians, Maurice Sutherland and Tim Thornton, trade strong words over planning in the 2 year old Teesside. Meanwhile, on the streets of the new county borough towns of Middlesbrough, Stockton and Billingham, the “grumbling and grousing” of local residents is heard in a series of vox pops.

“The future is bound up with the storage tanks, the network of pipes and the water coolers of petro-chemical manufacture.” From Max Locke’s 1944 Middlesbrough Survey to a vision for the heavily polluted industrial area set out in the 1965 Teesside Survey and Plan, an increasing array of national and local government policies tried to influence the development of Teesside. This Tyne Tees TV feature (with titles and credits missing), made 4 years before architect John Poulson was jailed for corruption, discovers optimism and cynicism in equal doses over planning for the future. As further chemical industries are due to open on the estuarine mud flats of Seal Sands, no one seems too worried about pollution.

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