The first planning applications for the Northumberland Rail Line will be submitted in the coming days.
Last month the green light was given to multi-million pound funding towards the Northumberland Line - meaning the go-ahead to reintroduce a regular rail passenger service between Ashington and central Newcastle, with several stops in between.
Northumberland County Council is leading the scheme, in partnership with Network Rail, which is set to open by 2024. The project will upgrade 18 miles of track, open six new stations, three new footbridges and new signal locations. The whole scheme is projected to deliver economic benefits of up to £470m.
In the next few days planning applications are set to be submitted to the County Council for new stations at Ashington and Northumberland Park (in North Tyneside), along with a new footbridge in Bebside. Full details will be available on the County Council’s website and there will be opportunity for the public to submit their views on the location and design of the new stations.
Cllr. Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said ‘The funding confirmation from the Government has allowed us to make rapid progress on the scheme and we’re pleased the first planning applications will be submitted for consideration shortly. This is the first block of planning applications, with others set to follow in the coming months. In the meantime we will continue to work with DfT and Network Rail in advance of submitting our full business case in the autumn for release of the final tranche of funding.’
Cllr. Matthew Cuthbert, Leader of Ashington Town Council, said 'The re-introduction of a passenger rail service from Ashington to Newcastle has been a long held hope and ambition of the Town Council and residents for many years. The Town Council welcomes the submission of the planning application and seeing the passenger rail line become a reality.'
The applications will be considered by Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee later this year.