Mixed views on plan for water works site

Town councillors have questioned whether housing is the most appropriate use for a prime site in Tweedmouth.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 15 May, 2018, 07:50
The water works site on Dock Road in Tweedmouth.

Northumbrian Water has lodged outline plans to redevelop land for 10 homes at Dock Road.

It wants to convert the vacant pumping station into six apartments and build four three-bedroom homes on a site offering views over the River Tweed.

Berwick Town Council has raised concerns as to whether the proposal fits in with the conservation area.

Coun Alex Gibson revealed the St Boisil’s Residents Association had hoped to turn the site into a hub for youth activities, such as canoeing.

Clerk Gareth Davies advised that this was not relevant in planning terms.

However, Coun Karin Graham said: “We need more properties and flats.”

The pumping station and neighbouring covered reservoir have become surplus to Northumbrian Water’s operational requirements.

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Planning consultants Lichfield, on behalf of Northumbrian Water, said: ‘The development will secure the future of a vacant building which has an important role in the history and evolution of Tweedmouth and deliver significant improvements to the site when compared to the existing situation.’

Assurances have been given that the development, if approved, would have no impact on the neighbouring Goodie Patchy woodland.

Existing on-street parking is proposed to be used for the four new properties. A further four parking spaces would be provided in the curtilage on the existing pumping station.

Local residents have been made aware of the proposals through a leaflet drop with 74 per cent agreeing that the number of new homes proposed was appropriate and well designed.

However, a small number of people were concerned that this proposal would set a precedent for additional housing development, while others felt the smell from the nearby shellfish factory would deter potential buyers. An odour assessment has been carried out by the applicant and further ‘sniff tests’ will be done.

The waterworks building was purpose-built in 1914 to replace an earlier building on the site.

For much of the 19th century, the application site was occupied by Tower Foundry which was established around 1800 by John Robertson & Co. A sandstone quarry existed on land to the rear and provided materials for many of Berwick’s buildings.