Plan for boatyard prompts discussion

A plan to build apartments, food outlets and office space in a seaside town has sparked discussion about development in the area, including speculation that a global fast-food chain will be opening its doors.

Last week, the Gazette reported that a scheme had been submitted by Tony Pull of Coble Developments Ltd, for The Boatyard, Coquet Street, Amble.

The Coble Quay plans consist of three food outlets, an office facility and 17 apartments on the water’s edge. The existing site formerly served as additional space to the adjacent boatyard, but is no longer required for its current use.

On Saturday, we posted a link to the story on our Facebook page and it has prompted a host of comments from social-network users.

One of the claims was that McDonald’s is planning to come to the town, but this has been refuted by the company.

A spokesman for the fast-food giant told the Gazette yesterday: “We have got no plans to open a store in Amble.”

Regarding the scheme for The Boatyard, Steven Turner wrote on Facebook: “All development is good on a brown site. It takes away an eyesore.”

Of development in the town, Elaine Scott added: “Amble is in a real need for stable employment and a cash injection.

“Us folk of Amble have lost a few major employers here and we need some kind of replacement.

“It will also be nice to have a variety of shops etc, although we should always remember to support our local shopkeepers on Queen Street.”

However, Elizabeth Cornwell doesn’t believe the development will come to fruition.

She wrote: “I can’t see it happening. There have been many ideas over the years, but they all came to nothing (remember the excitement of the degaussing dock?)”.

The state of The Braid came in for some criticism, with one user describing it as a doggy toilet.

While the Coble Quay scheme does not involve this area, Tesco currently has permission for an eco-store on land north of Queen Street, with an access road across The Braid.

The discussion also prompted talk about development on greenfield and brownfield sites.

Peter Bowen believes more needs to be done to attract businesses to Coquet Enterprise Park, following the demolition of the former Northumberland Foods factory.

A county council spokesman said the site has now been transferred over to Arch to promote as part of the overall industrial estate portfolio in Amble.