Plans for major redevelopment of fire-ravaged site set for green light

A proposed redevelopment of a site badly damaged by fire nearly eight years ago is in line for approval.

By Ian Smith
Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 11:56 am

An application seeking permission for 14 dwellings and three tourism units at the former Thrunton brickworks, near Swarland, is being recommended for approval by councillors.

The former brickworks had been operating as a carpet recycling and storage centre until 2013 when a significant fire destroyed the buildings and much of the surrounding site.

James Bellis, senior planning officer at Northumberland County Council, reports: ‘The proposal would replace an unattractive redundant industrial site with a small scale, innovatively designed scheme which prioritises sensitivity to the landscape and the community.

The Thrunton brickworks site after a fire.

‘The application represents a rare opportunity to make a dramatic improvement to the Northumberland landscape.’

A report by agents George F White, on behalf of applicants Mr and Mrs Blythe, owners of Thrunton Fisheries, explains that residential development on the scale proposed is required to generate sufficient value to enable the clean-up operations necessary to remediate the site.

They add that should the site not be redeveloped it is likely this will only worsen over time.

There have been no objections from statutory consultees including Northumbrian Water, while Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service has expressed no concerns.

However, two objections have been made by owners of nearby properties about the scale of the proposed development, traffic safety, contamination issues and its impact on existing water pressure issues.

The application will be discussed by the North Northumberland Local Area Council planning committee on Thursday.

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