Employment park plans for ex-smelter site

The former Alcan aluminium smelter site in Lynemouth. The chimneys on the site were demolished last year.
The former Alcan aluminium smelter site in Lynemouth. The chimneys on the site were demolished last year.

Plans for a large employment park on the former Alcan aluminium smelter site in Lynemouth have been lodged.

If the proposal by the Harworth Group is approved, it is anticipated that the engineering works to create the development platforms would be undertaken and completed over a four-year period.

This would allow detailed proposals to come forward as each platform is created.

The applicant says its 121,000 sq m Lynefield Park would provide a ‘flexible mix of employment floorspace’ and it aims to include a retail element.

It also estimates that 50 construction jobs, as well as 29 indirect construction jobs, would be generated per month during the building phase.

Aluminium production ended at Lynemouth in March 2012 and the Harworth Group took over the 320-acre site from previous owner Rio Tinto Alcan in April 2015.

A planning statement by Barton Willmore on behalf of the applicant includes the following: ‘Through this outline planning application, it is seeking to redevelop the site to provide a cutting-edge employment facility that will ensure the historic role of the site is not forgotten.

‘This represents a significant and exciting opportunity to preserve a regionally-renowned employment site and ensure it continues to provide jobs to future generations.

‘To this end, the applicant has already submitted an application for phased engineering works, which comprise filling in the former pot rooms to create development platforms in this part of the site.

‘This work also involves the remediation of this element of the site.

‘Given the site’s previous employment use, it already be-nefits from many desirable assets to attract future occupiers including existing access and servicing, a good location in proximity to key service centres and the strategic road network and the potential to use an existing rail freight link.’

‘The scheme would make a significant contribution to Northumberland’s employment land provision and economic growth aspirations.’

Helping to secure significant private investment into the county, the income generated by business rates and the provision of small-scale retail and/or community facilities are among the other benefits mentioned in the statement.

As it is an outline application, all other matters – such as landscaping, layout, appearance and scale – are reserved for future determination.