First planning applications due on Northumberland Line

The first planning applications for Northumberland’s newest rail line are set to be submitted in the coming days.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 10:00 am
Coun Richard Wearmouth, Coun Glen Sanderson and Ian Levy MP at South Newsham crossing.

Last month the green light was given to multi-million pound funding towards the Northumberland Line for the go-ahead to reintroduce a regular rail passenger service between Ashington and central Newcastle, with several stops in between.

Northumberland County Council is leading the ambitious scheme, in partnership with Network Rail, which is set to open by 2024 and will boost education, employment and housing prospects for the region.

The project will upgrade 18 miles of track, open six new stations, three new footbridges and new signal locations.

Planning applications are set to be submitted to the council for new stations at Ashington and Northumberland Park in North Tyneside, along with a new footbridge at Chase Meadows in Bebside.

Full details will be available on the County Council’s website and there will be opportunity for the public to submit their views on the location and design of the new stations.

Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: “The funding confirmation from the Government has allowed us to make rapid progress on the scheme and we’re pleased the first planning applications will be submitted for consideration shortly.

“This is the first block of planning applications, with others set to follow in the coming months.

“In the meantime we will continue to work with DfT and Network Rail in advance of submitting our full business case in the autumn for release of the final tranche of funding.”

The applications will be considered by the council’s strategic planning committee later this year.

Blyth Valley MP, Ian Levy, has welcomed the news.

He said: “The Government recently provided £34m to rapidly progress this project and I am delighted that the first milestone to be achieved relates to the station at Bebside.

"For decades we have had promises made then broken but at last residents can be assured that significant investment is underway.

“It is also fantastic that the work the County Council has done in the last couple of years is paying off with the funding also allowing land acquisition and site preparation.

"I look forward to seeing the project develop and will continue to remind the Government how important this scheme is for Northumberland.”