The next stage of the major overhaul of Bedlington town centre has been given the green light by councillors.
An outline application for a mixed-use development on a site to the north of Front Street, which includes land formerly occupied by the Tesco store, was approved in June 2017.
The overall scheme, led by the council-owned development company Arch, comprises a new food store on the eastern part of the site, a family pub/restaurant to the north, a range of retail/commercial units on the west, 12 residential units above the smaller retail/commercial units and around 250 car-parking spaces across the site.
The outline approval is being followed by the detailed plans in stages, with the first phase plus the infrastructure and access elements being unanimously approved at last Tuesday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee.
Given the go-ahead was 11 retail units, with frontages at ground-floor level to Market Place, Retail Lane and north towards the main car park, and four apartments at first-floor level off Market Place.
This follows news in May that the Arch board has released almost £6.5million to progress the next stages of the scheme.
The application sparked no objections and the only concern raised by West Bedlington Parish Council was in relation to the parking.
In response to a question from the county councillor for Bedlington West, Malcolm Robinson, planning officer Joanne Wood confirmed that while this phase delivered 105 parking spaces, the remaining 145 would be delivered elsewhere on the site to make up the 250 approved in the outline scheme.
“That’s the only concern I have heard from residents on this,” Coun Robinson said. “Let’s get on with it, we have waited for this for 50 years.”
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service