Former colliery site in Blyth to be overhauled

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Plans to regenerate a former colliery site in Blyth with a development of 142 homes have been given the go-ahead.

At last Tuesday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee, members unanimously approved a scheme for two, three and four-bedroom semi-detached dwellings on land at the former Bates Colliery in Cowpen.

A statement from the Port of Blyth explained that they were initially opposed to the application due to the potential that investors in the nearby Enterprise Zone would be put off due to fears of noise complaints. However, amendments such as the proposal to build a noise barrier had led them to withdraw their objection.

Coun Grant Davey, the previous leader of the county council, also spoke at the meeting ‘as the councillor who has worked with the Local Enterprise Partnership to bring in 800 to 1,600 jobs’. He called on the committee to impose a condition requiring the acoustic wall to be up before work starts.

After some debate, members were satisfied with the condition which requires it to be installed before the homes are occupied.

Coun Bernard Pidcock originally proposed going for a site visit, citing a recent visit to a location in Alnwick where homes were proposed near industrial units, but his motion was not supported.

Coun Richard Dodd asked why no affordable housing was being provided, with head of planning services, Mark Ketley, explaining that it was to do with the site’s viability, which has prevented previous developments going ahead.

“It’s felt that the regeneration opportunities outweigh the lack of affordable housing provided,” he said.