It’s full steam ahead for the council’s relocation of its HQ from Morpeth to Ashington as councillors prepare to decide on the planning application.
More than £32million of capital funding for the project – whose costs over a 35-year period are slated to be £38.5million – was approved as part of Northumberland County Council’s budget and medium-term financial plan last week.
And at Tuesday’s meeting of the authority’s strategic planning committee, members agreed to go on a site visit ahead of making a decision on the scheme.
The application is for a five-storey, grade-A office building, associated infrastructure and the provision of up to 474 parking spaces at a site on Lintonville Road.
The application site is situated within the town centre of Ashington and forms part of the North East Quarter, which is a wider development scheme for the area.
The new headquarters is to be developed on a commercial basis by applicant Arch, ‘with an aspiration of a lease to Northumberland County Council’.
The new site would comprise office space for 910 work stations, a community drop-in centre; a double-height chamber and conference facilities; with meeting rooms, a café and central atrium space.
A committee report states: ‘The proposed design of the scheme comes from an ambition to develop a highly-efficient building which would perform well both as a piece of civic infrastructure and as a modern, flexible office environment that is attractive to future occupiers’.