Cafe and car wash plans for unsuccessful housing development site in Alnwick

Plans have been lodged for a new car wash and café on an Alnwick industrial estate which was previously the unsuccessful target for new housing.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 16:16 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th July 2019, 24:09 am
The former Northumberland County Council depot site on the Willowburn Trading Estate in Alnwick

An application has been submitted for the former Northumberland County Council depot site on the northern side of the Willowburn Trading Estate.

AA Construction Utilities Ltd’s proposal is to construct a 26-metre conveyor car wash along with jet-wash bays on the southern side of the site, next to the internal estate road.

The demolished buildings which are proposed to be replaced with a new workshop building, a car wash and a café.

Next to this, by the site entrance, would be a new building to house a café.

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This requires the demolition of the building along the southern perimeter, while the scheme also seeks permission to knock down the building on the eastern side and replace it with a much larger building for three workshops/storage buildings.

The demolition has already taken place, with the plans indicating that this work started at the beginning of March.

The existing buildings on the site’s north, which is split into four workshops/storage buildings, and west – a vehicle repair centre, would be retained.

There would also be 20 parking spaces, and the development would create three full-time and one part-time jobs.

The council stopped using the facility around two years ago when the new Lionheart depot and fire station on the other side of the A1 was completed.

With this in motion, almost the whole of the Willowburn Trading Estate became the subject of an unpopular bid for around 125 new homes.

The first outline application was rejected unanimously by the council’s strategic planning committee in July 2017.

The proposal, by Northern Commercial Properties, whose majority shareholder is Lord James Percy, and the Harris & Sheldon Group (the council had been one of the applicants before withdrawing), was turned down as the site is designated as employment land in the Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Plan, which had just passed referendum.

A second outline bid – this time for up to 100 homes with the county council-owned depot land removed from the proposed site – was then unanimously refused last June.

The first refusal went to an appeal hearing last summer, but the planning inspector sided with the county and town council and upheld the refusal in October.