A future ‘slum’ or desirable flats?

Northumberland County Council’s development arm has been successful in its bid to build 49 new homes on the waterfront at Blyth.

Arch, the council’s regeneration company, had applied to build the two, three and four-bedroom properties on land at Commissioners Quay, off Quay Road.

At the October meeting of the county council’s strategic planning committee, the scheme was given the go-ahead by eight votes to two, despite concerns raised by neighbouring residents.

Coun Bernard Pidcock was one of those who voted against the proposals, saying: “They are building a slum for 30 years’ time. I don’t know how they can put 49 properties on that site.”

However, moving approval, Coun Trevor Thorne said: “It does have a high density, but a lot of harbour developments do and they can be very attractive places to live. I personally do like the design.”

Prior to the decision, members heard from resident Margaret Parnaby, who raised concerns about parking, traffic and 49 properties being overdevelopment.

“It’s sad to see a parcel of land which has become amenity space for the town be built upon,” she added.

“What a shame to eliminate this recreational space from our town.”

The area’s county councillor, Eileen Cartie, echoed the parking and traffic fears.

“In the summer months, it’s ridiculous, but with this application, it will be a problem all of the time,” she said.

A highways officer said that the development includes 98 parking spaces and that the traffic flow in the area is being looked at separately.

The site will not provide any affordable housing as it would render the scheme unviable.

Coun Richard Dodd said: “Arch is essentially us. Has Arch built any affordable homes yet? They always seem to be exempted.”