Plans lodged for major redevelopment of fire-ravaged Northumberland site

Plans have been lodged to redevelop a site badly damaged by fire more than seven years ago.

By Ian Smith
Thursday, 29th April 2021, 4:42 pm

An application seeking permission for 14 dwellings and three tourism units at the former Thrunton brickworks, near Swarland, has been submitted to Northumberland County Council.

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.

Agents George F White, on behalf of applicants Mr and Mrs Blythe, owners of Thrunton Fisheries, state: ‘It is considered that residential development is required on site to generate sufficient value to enable the clean-up operations necessary to remediate the site.

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The 2013 fire at Thrunton brickworks.

‘The former brickworks represents a rural based enterprise which faced significant hardship as a result of both the recession and subsequent carpet fire.

‘The proposed development seeks to clear the redundant buildings and provide a high-quality development which will regenerate the local area and diversify Thrunton Fisheries.

‘The existing buildings currently dominate the landscape and there would therefore be benefit in redeveloping the site. Should the site not be redeveloped it is likely this will only worsen over time.

‘It is further considered that the due to the level of damage caused by the fire the scale of development proposed is necessary to ensure the scheme is viable.’

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.

Anne Benson, who owns Thrunton Vale Cottages, said: “I would welcome some small scale development of the site if it was a requirement of any proposal that the site was cleared of all the existing burnt out and derelict buildings and a complete analysis of any residual contamination was made and remedial work carried out as necessary before any development could commence.”

She also raises concerns about the scale of the proposed development, traffic safety and its impact on existing water pressure issues.

Michael Mullaney, of Broadwood Cottages, added: “It would double the size of the hamlet and bring increased traffic and issues associated with the population increase, the infrastructure struggles at best with the current size of Thrunton.”

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