Frustration voiced over restrictive covenant

A restrictive covenant is preventing a company moving to a Berwick industrial estate where low occupancy levels have been a concern.

W A Riddell Haulage has been trying to push through a move to the Ramparts Business Park on the northern outskirts of the town.

But, owner Alan Riddell voiced his frustration at the lack of progress at a meeting of Northumberland County Council last week.

He said: “I’ve been trying to acquire a site on Ramparts industrial estate for my haulage company since May. We don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Our offer to buy it has been accepted by the company that owns it but we can’t get a change of use from the council.”

To make matters worse, the company which employs seven people faces a forced move away from its current rented premises at Morris Hall Farm in Norham because the owner has planning permission for housing.

A county council spokesman said: “The original funding for the construction of the Ramparts Estate was conditional on haulage use not being permitted. We are happy to work with Mr Riddell to help him find another site that will meet his needs.”

Coun Dougie Watkin was confident an alternative site could be found.