Residents object to water works proposal

Plans to redevelop a prime site overlooking the River Tweed have met opposition from a local residents' group.

Monday, 11th June 2018, 8:11 am
The water works site on Dock Road in Tweedmouth.

St Boisil’s Residents’ Association has objected to Northumbrian Water’s outline planning application for a site on Dock Road in Tweedmouth.

The water board wants to convert the vacant pumping station into six apartments and build four three-bedroom homes.

However, in a letter of objection, Margaret Thomas, chairman of St Boisil’s Residents’ Association, said: ‘While (the) Association does not have objections to development of the buildings on this site, we do not think that housing is its best use, especially since there are large numbers of houses already available and proposed in the area.’

Those views are echoed by a letter of objection from charity Woodland Education and Training (WET), which has been trying to negotiate with Northumbrian Water for seven years about the use of the site.

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Ross Weddle, WET acting chairman, stated: ‘WET is not against development of this site. However, we do not believe that the site is suitable for sustainable, residential development.

‘We suggest that the site is used for educational purposes and that this could create much-needed permanent jobs.

‘We would like to see the outline planning application withdrawn and for genuine consultation to take place with the local community.’

Potential flooding, both from the river and Goodie Patch, and parking concerns have also been raised by objectors.

Berwick Civic Society has welcomed plans to re-use an ‘historically and visually interesting building’ but believes it is an ‘over-intensive development of a sensitive waterfront site’.

Last year, the nearby Goodie Patch was granted a full Tree Protection Order.

The pumping station, also known as the Borough Water Works, and neighbouring covered reservoir, has become surplus to the operational requirements of Northumbrian Water.

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 Goodie Patch.

The water works building was built in 1914 to replace an earlier building. For much of the 19th century, the site was occupied by Tower Foundry.