Northumberland Line

SLC Property is advising Northumberland County Council (NCC) on land assembly, planning and environmental matters relating to the reopening of a former rail passenger service line between Ashington and Newcastle.

Background

The project involves the conversion of the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne route (a 12 mile stretch now known as the ‘Northumberland Line’) from its existing use as a freight line back to a passenger and freight railway line.  The scheme includes six new stations at Ashington, Blyth Bebside, Bedlington, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and Northumberland Park.  Of those stations, Ashington and Bedlington stations are to be located broadly on the historic station sites which are now dilapidated.  The project team has submitted an Outline Business Case (OBC) as part of the Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) Railway Network Enhancement Pipeline (RNEP) with the ‘Design’ stage commencing in March 2020.

Services provided

SLC Property is providing comprehensive land and consents advice to ensure all land parcels, rights and planning/environmental permissions are secured in a timely manner. This includes providing advice on the use of a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to deliver the third-party land parcels required to deliver the scheme. Our advice is provided in the form of a Land & Consents Strategy, which is the standard and requisite document for development on or around operational railway land.

Challenges

Given the scale of the project there are multiple parcels of land outside of the rail corridor required to deliver the stations, level crossing closures and various interventions, many of which are in private ownership. This has led to a significant task in identifying landowners and mapping their title boundaries.

Key accomplishments to date

  • Working closely with various teams at Network Rail to determine what rights they hold in the rail corridor, for what is a very unusual ownership structure on an operational railway
  • Delivering land schedules for multiple locations within challenging timescales so that the information can be used to guide the design process

Contact us to discuss your property aspirations and project challenges