New Northumberland County Council offices approved

Plans for a new five-storey headquarters for a county council in the North East have been approved after councillors ruled the scheme would respect the site's setting and create jobs.

An artist's impression of the finished scheme
An artist's impression of the finished scheme

Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee this week granted full planning permission for construction of the building in Ashington.

According to a planning report, the building "would be presented in a simple, rectilinear form with its height and size determined by the requirements to provide a minimum of 13,000 square metres of accommodation on a plot footprint of 3,900 square metres."

As well as office space the scheme would feature a community drop-in centre, conference facilities, meeting rooms and a café.

Planning officers said the scheme was in line with the National Planning Policy Framework, as well the Northumberland Core Strategy Local Plan pre-submission draft.

The report said the proposals would contribute towards a strong local economy; and, with natural ventilation in the building, produce less carbon than a conventionally comfort cooled office.

The report added: "Ashington is a sustainable town within Northumberland. The proposal for the new modern large-scale office building is a sustainable development which would form part of the overall masterplan proposals, providing an effective catalyst for the redevelopment of Ashington Town Centre.

"The development would respect the site's setting while making a shift towards a more sustainable future, through a significant increase in employment opportunities."

Council leader Grant Davey said: "This is a welcome next step in our market towns initiative to regenerate and improve Northumberland’s towns.

"We’re pleased the scheme has received planning permission and can now progress for the benefit of the town, the county and the wider region."

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