Northumberland Line

SLC Property is advising Northumberland County Council (NCC) on property, planning, and rail industry agreements to support plans to reopen a former rail passenger service line between Ashington and Newcastle.


The project involves the conversion of a 12 mile stretch from its existing use as a freight line to once again serve passengers.  The scheme includes six new stations at Ashington, Blyth Bebside, Bedlington, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and Northumberland Park and associated infrastructure such as re-signalling, the construction of new footbridges, earthworks, and level crossing upgrades.  Construction is now underway at all six stations with completion and Entry Into Service for some of the stations due in 2024.

Services provided

Land & Property

  • Managing land referencing for the project.
  • Acquiring over 100 land parcels/rights required to deliver the project.
  • Establishing the ownership and management regime for completed assets (e.g. stations and bridges).
  • Delivering multiple temporary access licences for ground investigation and ecology surveys.
  • Management of objectors in advance of an inquiry.
  • Negotiation with rail industry stakeholders.
  • Production of multiple ail Industry specific plans including Station Lease Plans, Land Transfer Plans and HMPE Plans.
  • Working with NCC Highways to organise current and future highway arrangements.


  • Led on pre-application discussions with the local planning authority and other key stakeholders.
  • Authored Planning Statements to show the compliance of the proposals with planning policies and benefits to the region.
  • Assembled, submitted and managed the determination of the applications for planning permission and related. consents for the new railway stations.

Environmental and ecology

  • Prepared and authored supporting Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments, proposed landscaping plans, Design and Access Statements, Ecological Impact Assessments, and discussions regarding biodiversity net gain requirements.

Community/stakeholder engagement

  • Devised the public consultation strategy to align requirements for the pre-planning application, TWAO and Level Crossing Order consultations.
  • Authored Statements of Community Engagement to support planning applications.

Industry Agreements

  • Arranging agreements for the adoption and maintenance of assets (i.e., stations, footbridges, underpasses) along the line.
  • Agreement with the operator on the running of new train services.
  • Working with the chosen Station Facility Owner to ensure that all their requirements have been considered as part of final designs.
  • Property agreements required for the opening of the line and stations.
  • Rail Regulatory Processes to allow the opening of the line, stations, and services.


  • The Northumberland Line is one of the country’s most ambitious rail schemes currently being delivered by a local authority in terms of scale and delivery timescales.
  • The approach for securing land and consents is multifaceted and significant knowledge and resource has been required to determine the optimum delivery strategy.
  • The project is being delivered by several different contractors; each have different but overlapping temporary land requirements. We undertake close coordination with each of the contractors to ensure that all essential sites are secured and temporary agreements are in place with landowners and occupiers. We are also required to secure land outside of the TWAO extents, often at short notice.
  • Aligning the consultation requirements of the different land consenting routes so that only one public consultation was required.
  • Reaching agreement with the rail industry to ensure that the finished product can be taken into use when complete.
  • A number of the interventions have an impact upon the adjacent residents and careful discussions are required to be held with these groups to facilitate progress and disseminate information.

Key accomplishments to date

  • Developing a complex strategy for obtaining land and consents required to deliver the project on time and on budget.
  • Agreeing purchase by agreement on 5 of the key sites to enable early works to commence and assist the development programme.
  • Working closely with project design leads to determine the extent of land and rights required to be included in the Transport & Works Act Order (TWAO), which was submitted in May 2021, with Public Enquiry in November 2021 and Powers of acquisition granted by Secretary of State in July 2022.
  • Undertaking a wide range of ecology and ground surveys.
  • Agreements with rail industry (both Network Rail and the Train Operator) regarding design of the stations and required facilities.
  • Submitting planning applications for all six stations and key interventions such as Palmersville Underpass and Underbridges 35, 36 &42 – Planning Permissions have all been granted.

Contact us to discuss your property aspirations and project challenges