Fresh proposal for housing at key town site

The former Bedlington Old School site on Church Lane is situated in a high-profile location, elevated above Bedlington Front Street.  Picture by Jane Coltman
The former Bedlington Old School site on Church Lane is situated in a high-profile location, elevated above Bedlington Front Street. Picture by Jane Coltman
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A new housing proposal for the Bedlington Old School site is being developed.

The area of land on Church Lane is situated in a high-profile location, above Bedlington Front Street. It was planned to be a residential development of 19 apartments – permission was granted by a planning inspector in 2010 following an appeal by Dysarts Developments – but this was not progressed and the site continues to lay fallow and in disrepair.

Arch, the arms-length development company established by Northumberland County Council, is now bringing forward a scheme which involves creating 18 new high-quality homes for rent targeted at the over 55 market.

Arch has also announced that it has appointed ID Partnership architects to make design changes to improve the scheme and maintain a quality of architecture which is ‘more sympathetic to the conservation area and the adjacent St Cuthbert’s Church’.

Subject to planning permission being granted, work will start in early 2017.

The company is also leading the delivery of a mixed use development on the former Tesco store site in Bedlington Market Place and have cleared this key development area for the planned investment in Bedlington town centre.

The investment proposals are on track and currently being assessed by the county council’s planning team.

This assessment is part of Arch’s formal pre-planning application. Further announcements are anticipated over the next couple of months.

Coun Alyson Wallace, speaking on behalf of all Bedlington councillors, said: “This is the next step in our plan to develop Bedlington.

“So far, we’ve attracted and spent over £27million in the town in a mixture of private and public sector investment and the development of the Old School site will see more people living in our town centre.

“These plans set out how the scheme will fit into the wider re-development and as a commercial venture, shows the confidence exists in the town as a great investment opportunity.

“Local people have told their elected members that they want to see the job of developing the town completed as quickly and sensitively as possible and we agree.”