Amble Town Council plan to sell land for housing
Amble Town Council is proposing to sell land it owns to a housing developer, with the proceeds possibly going towards supporting a community building.
An outline proposal for 12 flats and 11 houses on the site of the old coal yard at the bottom of the Wynd was submitted to Northumberland County Council at the beginning of January. If planning permission is granted, Amble Town Council will sell the land to Amble Homes, who would develop the accommodation.
In a statement on their website, the Town Council say:
“Amble Town Council is delighted to announce that an ‘Option to Buy’ subject to planning permission has been agreed for the land just off the bottom of the Wynd including the overgrown scrubland and the redundant fenced area within the allotments. Amble Homes has been working with us for a while and are now preparing an outline planning application to build some smaller homes/apartments as well as some town houses here preferably for permanent residence.”
The council say they hope this development comprising of one and two bedroom flats, and three bedroom houses will help locals, and especially young people to stay in the area.
Current allotment holders have been assured they will not be affected and will still be able to access their gardens.
In the statement the council say they have not decided what they would spend the money on, but in minutes of their December 2023 meeting, they do identify a specific project:
“A statement has been drafted for residents which outlines the reasons for doing this which includes addressing the desperate need for smaller properties and using the funds to support a community building.”
Land ‘is not public land’ say Town Council
The Ambler understands that if a local authority sells public land, the land should be valued, and advertised for sale for two consecutive weeks. The authority should ensure it gets the best return that can be reasonably expected.
We asked the council if they had done this, and how much the coal yard land is worth. A spokesperson told us:
“The council has undertaken all the processes required of a Town Council, including inviting other interested parties and having the land independently valued. We cannot divulge that information at present as the transaction remains business in confidence.
“The coal yard is not public land but a brownfield site. We can confirm that access from The Wynd to the allotments and round to West Avenue will remain accessible by the public. The council anticipates that access to the area will also be improved as a result of the development.”
We also asked if Amble Town Council would be commenting as a statutory consultee, given they clearly would have a vested interest in the application being passed. The spokesperson told us the council itself would not comment, although individual members could comment on the application if they wanted.
Number of houses in Amble continues to increase
The plans will add to the large number of recent developments in the Friendliest Port. Northumberland County Council’s Local Plan identified that Amble required 540 additional homes between 2016 and 2036. That number has already been vastly exceeded, with 776 homes already built or being finished as of the beginning of 2024. A further 666 homes have also received outline planning permission, bringing the total to over 250% of the identified need.
In 2023 The Ambler identified that despite the huge increase in new housing, the population of Amble has fallen suggesting that those buying properties in the town are either not residents, or perhaps already live here.
The coal yard development joins Northumberland Estates’ plans on Braid Hill for 98 homes and Northumberland County Council’s 11 bungalows, bringing the number of proposed homes still to be decided by planners to 132.
For more information on the coal yard plans, see Northumberland County Council’s planning website. Ref 23/04659/OUT
UPDATE: The chart and text have been updated to include NCC’s proposed plans for 11 bungalows