October 24, 2011 | Bates Colliery News
The latest phase of a multi-million pound regeneration scheme in the centre of a Northumberland town is set to get underway this week (w/c 24 October).
North east property development firm Banks Property, part of The Banks Group, and Harworth Estates have been working together for the past four years on the regeneration of 30 acres of land on the sites of the former Bates Colliery, the former Crofton Mill Colliery and the former Morpeth Road School in Blyth.
Around 450 new residential properties, consisting predominantly of a mix of family homes and apartments, will be built through the regeneration scheme, and the joint venture partners are currently in discussions with a number of housebuilders about taking land on the site.
Funding worth £2.5m for the remediation and infrastructure work was secured by Banks and Harworth Estates from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the national housing and regeneration body.
Work on the 23-acre site was completed at the start of the year, allowing for the construction on site of the new Morpeth Road School, which opened at the beginning of the current academic year.
Enhancements are now set to be made to the roads surrounding the site, in order to improve access to the area for both its present occupants and those that will live, work and study there when the whole project is complete.
Preparatory work will begin on Cowpen Road outside the fire station on Monday 24 October, and is expected to last around ten weeks, with traffic disruption potentially impacting on the surrounding roads.
Work started earlier this year at the Crofton Mill site on Plessey Road following its sale to Keepmoat Homes, who are now building 28 new two and three-bedroom homes on site.
John Ruddick, senior property development manager with Banks Property, says: “This scheme represents a very substantial land investment in Blyth by Banks and Harworth Estates at a time when very few other firms are doing anything on this scale, and the positive impact it is having on the local community can already be clearly seen, especially through the opening of the new Morpeth Road school.
“The scheme is breathing new life into large areas of predominantly redundant land around Blyth, and is a crucial part of the wider, post-industrial regeneration of the town as a whole.
“We are extremely confident that families from across the region will want to be part of the high quality, vibrant communities that we are creating in Blyth, and the new public open spaces and other facilities that will accompany these homes will also have far-reaching benefits for people living across the area.
“Close co-operation with a number of regional partners, including Northumberland County Council and the Homes & Communities Agency, around these proposals has been central to the good progress that has been made so far, and we’re very excited at the site’s future prospects.
“The forthcoming roadworks will lead to real improvements in traffic flow around the area, and we will obviously ensure they are carried out as quickly as possible, so disruption to traffic in the area is minimised.”
Eddie Peat, Director of Harworth Estates said “We are pleased with the progress we have made in the remediation of the site and are excited about moving forward with the next phase of development.
“This is an important scheme for the local community and we want to press on quickly with the next phase. We are in discussions with a number of housebuilders to ensure we do that”.