Demolition bid for factory

Cheviot Foods/Northumberland foods boarded up factory in Amble.

Cheviot Foods/Northumberland foods boarded up factory in Amble.

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A plan to demolish a derelict factory in Amble has been submitted.

Northumberland County Council has applied to knock down the former Northumberland Foods premises, which has stood empty for more than a year.

And it is hoped that future employment opportunities could be created, if the site is cleared.

A county council spokeswoman said: “We have now applied for planning permission to demolish the factory.

“Once the land has been cleared, we will be able to proactively promote the redevelopment of the site with the aim of bringing new jobs to Amble in the future.”

The move comes after the council accepted the surrender of the ground lease of the Northumberland Foods site from administrator Begbies Traynor, which had marketed it nationally for more than nine months but hadn’t attracted any interest.

The boarded-up Coquet Enterprise Park-based factory is a magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour and has been branded ‘not fit for purpose’ and an ‘eyesore’.

Members of the Amble community have welcomed the demolition plans.

Deputy mayor Coun Craig Weir said: “It would be a step in the right direction for the future of Amble.

“The derelict factory has been a scar on the entrance to Amble for so long and it is detrimental to what we are trying to achieve.”

Colin Harris, chairman of Amble Business Club, described the pending demolition of the factory as ‘great news’ for Amble’.

“The site as it stands has become not only an eyesore but a magnet to some recent anti-social behaviour including high-profile criminal activity,” he said.

The police have also backed the demolition plans, with Alnwick Neighbourhood police Inspector Paul Truscott telling the Gazette that redevelopment of the site ‘should stop’ the crime and anti-social issues.

The factory has been closed since March 2011, when around 80 people were made redundant, bringing the number of jobs lost there to more than 200.