Opponents to planned underpass in Ashington urged to have their say

Families living near the site of a planned underpass in Ashington fear an exodus from the surrounding streets if the scheme is given the green light.

By James Harrison
Monday, 4th October 2021, 2:35 pm
A formal planning application has been submitted for an underpass in Ashington as part of the Northumberland Line.
A formal planning application has been submitted for an underpass in Ashington as part of the Northumberland Line.

Proposals to replace the existing Hospital Level Crossing as part of work on the Northumberland Line rail project have now been formally submitted to Northumberland County Council’s planning department.

And as county chiefs gear up to make a decision, opponents are being urged to ensure they make their voices heard.

“It’s going to mean nothing but noise and drinkers,” said Stan Perkins, whose home in Featherwood Drive is yards from the proposed underpass.

“It’s going to be horrendous for the people living nearby, I don’t know why they don’t just put it further up the railway line.

“I wouldn’t like to walk through it myself, I’m not feeling good about it, I just don’t want it – I will be moving if it goes ahead and I don’t think I will be the only one who feels they have to.”

The proposals for the underpass will replace the existing level crossing between Darnley Road, on the eastern side of the railway tracks, and Roseneath Court, on the west.

But while many are keen to see the route’s revival, the proposals have led to fears about the impact on families, such as from Graham Harding, whose home in Darnley Road is next to the proposed site of the underpass.

He said: “We’re for the railway line, but it has to be done right.”

The county council has previously insisted it has taken “concerns” into consideration.

It added: “The proposed underpass was designed with features to ensure it would be as light and safe as possible and minimise anti-social behaviour around it.

“The application for the underpass has been submitted and is awaiting validation, once this has been done the application will be available to the public on the planning portal for their consideration and comment.”

Further details of the plans can be found in the planning section of Northumberland County Council’s website using the reference number 21/03780.

Any comments on the scheme can be submitted through the website.