Plans for former Alnwick fire station set to get the green light

Plans for Alnwick’s former fire station are poised to get the green light from county councillors.

Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 16:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 15:03 pm
The former Alnwick Fire Station.

A formal change of use application by current operator North East Equality and Diversity Ltd (NEED) is being recommended for approval by planning officers at Northumberland County Council.

The disability and community transport organisation is seeking permission to change the use of the South Road site from a fire station (Sui Generis) to a mixed B1/B8 & D1 use with ancillary garage for maintaining NEED's vehicles. No physical alterations are proposed as part of the application.

Alnwick Civic Society object to permission being granted for B8 storage and distribution. The Civic Society consider this use is ancillary to B1 and D1 use, so it is unnecessary, and granting it specifically would allow potentially unwelcome development in the future.

Comments have also been made by a neighbour regarding the row of garages to the immediate west of the site and including all concrete to the front of the garage doors, are privately owned, and relating to on street parking matters.

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A report to tomorrow’s meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council states: “The location of development is considered a suitable location for the proposal.

“It is not considered there would be an environmental impact resulting from the proposal as a previously developed site, involving no building work. Further to this the social and economic benefits, as well as other environmental benefits are considered to add to the case for the proposal.’

Some of the building will be used by NEED and some will accommodate eight small business start-up units. There will also be a meeting room on site.

NEED first took space in the fire station in 2004 and has used it since for a range of purposes including offices, storage and training.

For many years, NEED occupied the building with the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service. This shared use continued until June 2015, when a new fire station opened on the Lionheart Enterprise Park.

At present, the charity has 27 minibuses which operate a number of contracts.