County plan to demolish former food factory welcomed

A POSITIVE response has been given to the possible demolition of the former Northumberland Foods factory in Amble.

Northumberland County Council is to apply for planning permission to knock down the building – which has stood empty for more than a year – after taking on the ground lease of the site from administrator Begbies Traynor.

A council spokeswoman said: “The administrator had actively marketed the site nationally for over nine months and it attracted no interest. The building is not fit for purpose and is at the end of its useful life and the council will be applying for planning permission to demolish and clear the site at the earliest possible date.

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

Amble mayor Coun Leslie Bilboe welcomed the announcement, saying: “It is good news that something is happening and demolition would allow for something more constructive to be built. But I don’t want to see it demolished and then be left with a derelict site for several years.”

Town and county councillor Robert Arckless said he couldn’t comment as he is on the county council’s north area planning committee, but said: “It’s a prominent site on a main approach to Amble and I realise that it has been a cause for concern and I would welcome any efforts to move the situation forward as the present situation isn’t sustainable and doesn’t reflect well on Amble.”

Colin Harris, chairman of Amble Business Club, said it was ‘great news’, adding: “It has become an eyesore and if businesses don’t want to move in, then the best possible outcome is to flatten it and start again.”