Meet The Estate Committee

Committee Members

The following people make up the Estate Committee.  Where available we have included photographs and a brief biography of each member.



Alastair Gilchrist

I have lived in Northumberland all my life and on Darras Hall Estate since 2001. It is a unique environment that we are very privileged to enjoy being a part of.

I feel that it is important that we preserve the legacy that the founders and residents past and present have given us. We need allow the Estate to evolve as the Committee has over the previous century to ensure that it remains one of the most prestigious areas to live in the region for all present and future residents to enjoy.

Shirley Hill

In this twenty first century, communication is of vital importance to us all and we now aim to give the residents the transparency they deserve as to how the committee operates. I am optimistic that we can achieve this but please contact us with any concerns.

I recently retired from Newcastle University after working for 30 years in communication skills carrying out Role-Play consultations with Medical Students and Health Professionals. I am Hon. Secretary of the Ponteland Community Partnership and Patient Representative for Ponteland Medical Group. I have two sons, as well as four grandchildren.

I have lived in the same house in Darras Hall since 1968. I moved up here from Hertfordshire for my husband’s business and immediately fell in love with its village environment and its green spaces; we must keep it that way!

Shirley Hill.


Mrs Sangeet Jaidka

I am a qualified Accountant by profession.   I am experienced in working in community focused areas having worked in Local Government and the NHS, and currently working for a Housing Company. 

The Darras Hall community spirit and green spaces attracted us to move here in 2009 having lived in Newcastle most of my life. 

In this changing world I am keen to ensure that that this is preserved and further developed for the not only for the current residents but also for the next generation of residents and beyond. 

Atul Malhotra

I am the second generation of the Malhotra family, working within the Malhotra Group from an early age, my current role being Operations Director.

After graduating with a degree in Business Studies, I was tasked with overseeing the growth of the leisure arm of the Group. Under my control the leisure portfolio has grown into an ever-expanding regional collection of hotels, restaurants and bars.

As a member of the Darras Hall Estate Committee, I feel my experience both politically and technically, together with a passion for the community, is a great asset to the Committee.  I also serve on the Board of several foundations and support a range of local charities. In 2015 I was shortlisted for the Institute of Directors North East Young Director of the Year.

Andrew H S Pile - Land & Property Sub-Committee Chairman

I have been a resident of Darras Hall for a long time now and have been a member of the Committee for a good part of that. 

I joined the Committee as I was concerned about the environmental facilities that the Estate had and wanted to ensure that they may continue to be enjoyed by residents long into the future.  As both a member and as Chairman of the Land and Property Sub-Committee I have spent much time managing and working on both the Darras Hall Grasslands SSSI and Bridlepath.  However, as I work full time and volunteer with a local youth organisation there is never the time to do everything that I would like to do. 

As one of the longest serving members of the Committee I have developed a good understanding of the Trust Deed, which is our rule book for managing the Estate, along with court rulings and other factors which we must take into account when making decisions.

Scott Savin

I am an Associate Architect and Urban Designer at an Architectural Practice in Newcastle with over 10 years’ experience.  Initially I specialised in the high-end residential sector, designing individual bespoke properties across the North East, before moving on to designing a variety

of schemes across the country for the public and private sector including Elderly Care and Education. I have also worked on several housing schemes for developers and housing associations particularly in the North West and the Lake District, as well as an urban renewal masterplan scheme in Ulanbaataar, Mongolia.


I am keen to make a positive contribution to the work of the Estate Committee and ensure that Darras Hall continues to be a great place to live. 

John C Scott - Airport Representative

I have been a resident of Darras Hall since 1968 and a Committee Member since 1999. 

I am currently Vice Chairman of Newcastle Airport Consultative Committee and retired after almost 38 years working for a multi-national company.  I am a Church Elder, Trustee of Dame Allans Schools Trust, Regional Chairman of the Retirement Association of my former company and am interested in cricket and rugby football.

I am very keen to maintain and develop this special North East estate.

Christine Thompson - Vice Chairman

I have lived on Woodside since 1998 with my husband Deryck.  Our three sons have now flown the nest.

I still remember the feeling of excitement and appreciation when I drove to my new home for the first time.  With every season we have very different and beautiful street scenes and I feel very passionate about retaining the garden city reputation of the Estate for the benefit of all.  I hope owners, planners and architects will keep this in mind when planning new developments. 

My whole career has been in accounts starting with hand written double entry book-keeping through to computerised accounts.  For the past thirty years I have worked within the legal profession, twelve of them in Ponteland village. 

I very much hope I can make a positive contribution to the work of the Estate Committee and look forward to meeting or hearing from fellow owners in the future.

Andrew Tucker

"I am married with 3 children and have lived on Darras Hall since 2002. When I was younger Darras Hall was often mentioned but I never really understood what people were going on about. Since moving here I have come to appreciate what a very special place this is.


I have been a member of the Estate Committee (on and off) since 2010. I am a Chartered Surveyor and feel that my experience in property is something that has been, and will continue to be, useful for the Estate Committee.


I also represent the Estate Committee on the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group where we are looking at the whole of Ponteland and not just Darras Hall. I believe that taking an active part in the community is much more fulfilling than doing nothing."


Ian White - Highways Sub-Committee Chairman

When my wife and I came to the North East over 30 years ago, it was to join a Heavy Engineering start-up Company in the area. We looked widely across Northumberland and Tyne & Wear, until a colleague said we must look at an area called Darras Hall. We visited, got ourselves lost, loved it and decided we had to set up our home here. The rural setting was very much to our taste, and the quality of the Estate was self evident.

Continuing to maintain this environment, and the experience of living here, is of significant interest to us, and I look forward to being able to input to the work of the Estate Committee in whatever way possible, including acting as Chairman of the Highways Sub-Committee.

Gilbert Wright - IT Consultant