Plans for Ash Barge Dock given go-ahead

Plans to upgrade the former Ash Barge Dock have been approved.
Plans to upgrade the former Ash Barge Dock have been approved.

Plans to improve the former Blyth Power Station dock at East Sleekburn – known locally as the Ash Barge Dock – were given the green light last week.

The modifications, including widening, deepening and dredging, plus a temporary compound for processing materials, were unanimously approved by Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee. The total works are expected to take between 12 and 18 months.

As the Leader reported in February, Arch has secured funding to upgrade it to allow larger vessels to berth as part of a package of measures to secure jobs and economic growth and ensure all available development land in Cambois is connected to the Port of Blyth.

The first-phase plans for the reclamation of the former Blyth Power Station site were approved earlier this year and will create a 16 hectare development area. As a strategic site within Northumberland, it is targeted for significant economic growth and future jobs.

The former Ash Barge Dock has remained derelict since the power station was demolished; the last chimneys came down in 2003.

Moving approval at last Tuesday’s meeting, Coun Trevor Thorne said: “I think the proposals for Energy Central and the Port of Blyth are very exciting.”

Coun Jeff Gobin added: “There were concerns in the village when this was first put forward. People came out and spoke to the residents and there’s been no objections so I’m happy to second this.”

Coun Gordon Castle said: “This is Blyth heading in the right direction, it’s part of the economic regeneration of the county.”