New lease of life for former fire station site

The old fire station at Ashington.
The old fire station at Ashington.
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A FORMER fire station is to be given a new lease of life as a community facility and adjoining MOT centre.

Plans to turn the old fire service building in Ashington’s Morpeth Road into a community-based arts organisation featuring radio station and offices, as well as an MOT test centre, have been given the green light by members of the south east area planning committee.

The resubmission of the plans – approved at a meeting last week – are for the ground floor to be the MOT centre and offices while on the first floor will be the radio studio with editing and production suites.

The site has been vacant since 2009, with some nearby residents saying it had started to become an eyesore and was in need of development.

However, the committee received nine letters of objection to the latest proposals.

Residents were concerned about the health implications of having an MOT centre close to houses; the noise and dust being created; the site being close to a school crossing and increasing traffic hazards for children; reduced house prices in the area; and the building being out of keeping with the area.

Further objections included the number of MOT centres already in the area; the development would attract thieves; while residents felt there were business parks which would be more suited to the development.

One resident wrote: “I am appalled at the proposal of an MOT centre which would be directly adjacent to my garden.

“I cannot believe that Northumberland County Council would allow this proposal to be passed.”

A report to the committee said the long term plans are to build new houses on the site.

A previous application, submitted in May this year, was rejected as no noise assessment had been submitted.