Public meeting arranged over controversial plans for underpass as part of Northumberland Line

The public will be able to have their say on controversial plans for an underpass in Ashington at an open meeting.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 10:41 am
Cllr Caroline Ball, a county councillor and town councillor for Ashington, has called a meeting on the controversial plans for an underpass in Ashington.

Proposals have been put forward by Northumberland County Council (NCC) to replace the existing Hospital Level Crossing as part of the wider Northumberland Line rail project.

And it has prompted bosses at Ashington Town Council (ATC) to step in to hold the session to ensure they can hear concerns families in the town have raised about the cross-track link.

“We want people to come along, so they can have their opinions heard,” said Caroline Ball, a Labour member of both the county council and the town council.

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She added: “The town council is one of the organisations which can log comments on an application, so it’s important for the town council to know the views of residents.

“It’s not going to be a slanging match, it’s so that we know the people have been listened to and we can also clarify any questions about the plans.”

Cllr Ball and other members of ATC are due to be at Ashington Masonic Hall, in John Street, on Tuesday, October 12, from 7pm, to take questions and listen to views.

If approved, the underpass plans would replace the existing level crossing between Darnley Road, on the eastern side of the railway tracks, and Roseneath Court, to the west.

Once completed, the Northumberland Line is expected to return passenger services to what was previously known as the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne Line for the first time since the 1960s.

Cllr Ball added: “We want people to come along, so they can have their opinions heard.

“We’re finding there’s a number of residents struggling to log on [to the council’s planning website], so we will also be able to point them in the right direction of what to do and how to do it.

“Until it goes to the planning committee, it’s not a done deal – this is about the public being listened to and knowing they have been heard.”

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.