Police back calls to demolish factory

A POLICE inspector has backed proposals to demolish a derelict factory, which has been a target for criminals since it closure.

The former Northumberland Foods premises, in Amble, shut its doors in March 2011 and has become a hotspot for thieves and anti-social activity.

Metal and wire has been stolen from the site while there have been reports of suspicious vehicles, attempted thefts and break-ins and possible intruders.

But the Coquet Enterprise Park-based factory could now be knocked down, after Northumberland County Council has said it will be applying for planning permission to demolish and clear the site.

Alnwick Neighbourhood Police Inspector Paul Truscott welcomed the news.

“I support any initiative to rejuvenate the site, therefore reducing the likelihood of crime and disorder at this location,” he said.

“The police have attended these derelict premises on several occasions following reports of criminal activity and anti-social behaviour and redevelopment should stop these incidents.”

The council recently accepted the surrender of the ground lease of the Northumberland Foods site from administrator Begbies Traynor, which had marketed it nationally for more than nine months but hadn’t attracted any interest.

A County Hall spokeswoman said that the building is ‘not fit for purpose and is at the end of its useful life’ so the county council is trying to get permission to demolish and clear the site.

She added that once the land has been cleared, it will enable the council to promote its redevelopment with the aim of bringing new jobs to Amble in the future.

The proposals have also received a positive response from throughout the community, including Amble mayor Coun Leslie Bilboe and the chairman of Amble Business Club, Colin Harris, who have both backed the proposals for the site’s demolition.