Town centre scheme set to get green light

Bedlington site of old Tesco store
Bedlington site of old Tesco store

The regeneration of Bedlington town centre is set to take a step forward next week.

An outline application for a mixed-use development on a site to the north of Front Street, which includes land formerly occupied by a Tesco store, has been recommended for approval by Northumberland County Council planning officers.

In addition, an outline proposal for up to 500 properties with associated infrastructure and landscaping on land south west of Glebe Farm, Choppington Road, is set to get the green light at the same meeting of the strategic planning committee next Tuesday evening at County Hall in Morpeth.

The town centre scheme, led by Arch, comprises a new food store on the eastern part of the site, a family pub/restaurant on the northern part of the site, a range of retail/commercial units on the western part of the site, 12 residential units above the smaller retail/commercial units, around 250 car parking spaces located across the site and a co-ordinated scheme of hard and soft landscaping.

County council leader Peter Jackson said: “This proposal is key to the regeneration of Bedlington and part of making sure the town gets a fair deal from the county council.

“The proposals are the result of a lot of hard work from stakeholders and politicians across the town.

“We will, subject to planning approval, be working to ensure it moves from the planning to the implementation stage in the months to come.”

“It is possible that we will open up a consultation on the fine tuning of the proposals, as there have in hindsight been things that local people have suggested they would like to see added to the proposals.

“However, this will not be allowed to slow down planning permission for the proposals – the bulk of which people have said they are very happy about.

“This is an exciting time for Bedlington, we want to see it become a thriving and vibrant town once more.”

The recommendation is for the committee to be minded to approve as there are drainage, archaeology and building conservation issues to resolve.

The housing bid by Tony Rutherford, courtesy of GSC Grays, is for a mix of five, four, three and two-bedroom properties.

Concerns from the 29 people who objected include the impact on local schools and GP facilities, as well as wildlife and flood risk in the area.