Progress update for key town site

A section of the Portland Park site in Ashington.
A section of the Portland Park site in Ashington.

Northumberland County Council has issued a progress update for the Portland Park site, which has been dubbed the Ashington Hole.

A new investment strategy is also being devised for the three development plots, with a revised outline planning application being progressed that could include a multi-screen cinema, restaurants and retail stores.

The first phase of the highways infrastructure for the scheme is now well under way.

These roads open up the site and connect the Parkway roundabout to Wetherspoon pub past Ashington Leisure Centre and Poundstretcher to Lintonville Terrace. They are due to be open in late summer.

As part of developing the new scheme, the highways works initially proposed to Grand Corner, Woodhorn Road and Lintonville Terrace have been put on hold to allow the development of a new detailed design to incorporate amended pedestrian crossing proposals.

The review comes in part in response to a national campaign by disability groups, including RNIB, over the introduction of ‘shared space’ areas.

The revised proposals will be brought back for public consultation and a revised programme developed to link in with the new planning application.

Council leader Peter Jackson said: “We are progressing a number of options based on local feedback, which will not just benefit Ashington but the whole county.

“When the new administration took charge of the council, one of the first things we did was guarantee that work would continue at Portland Park to put in critical road and other infrastructure and that’s exactly what is happening.

“We’re committed to making the scheme accessible for all our residents and following local feedback and national issues raised about shared spaces, we need to look again at this and we will soon be consulting on revised plans for this aspect of the work.”

Campaigners angry at what they believe is a lack of progress at Portland Park are arranging a mass protest at the site tomorrow (Friday) from 2pm.