Expansion plans for Northumberland port set for approval

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Plans to expand the Port of Blyth at Bates Terminal are set to get the green light next week.

The proposal, for a site east of Morpeth Road Academy on Bates Avenue, which involves installing perimeter fencing to include it within the port boundary, is recommended for approval at a March 3 meeting of Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee.

The fact that it is not currently considered operational land associated with the port – as it is vacant land acting as a landscape buffer with Crawford Street – is the reason it is not considered permitted development and an application was required.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The scheme will include the initial reclamation of the site and re-engineering of the existing earth bunds, site clearance, the construction of a new bund – five metres high and up to a maximum of 10 metres wide – along the southern boundary, construction of an internal access road and hard-standing areas, plus the erection of a 2,500 sq m industrial unit.

Port of Blyth, South Beach, Blyth.Port of Blyth, South Beach, Blyth.
Port of Blyth, South Beach, Blyth.

This warehouse is to be used for storage/distribution purposes only, which has led to some of the initial concerns from the likes of the Environment Agency and the council’s public health team being dropped.

Plus, despite three site notices along Crawford Street, a press notice and 47 letters being sent to neighbouring properties, there have been no comments from the public.

The nearest residential properties are 40m from the site on Chestnut Avenue, while the primary school is 200m away.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, a planning statement submitted as part of the application suggests that residents welcomed the proposals at a public consultation event, attended by about 40 people, which ‘identified that one of the main issues for the local residents was antisocial behaviour and that the removal of this open land from general access will be a good thing for the area, reducing fly-tipping and fire-starting’.

The planning officer’s report concludes: ‘Due to the positive multiplier effects that would result in supporting the operations of the port, which plays an important role in the county’s economy, it is considered that the proposed use of this land would provide both direct and indirect economic benefits.’