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North Blyth

In January 1988, residents of the small village of North Blyth in Northumberland were informed that Wansbeck District Council, as part of the local plan, intended to demolish all their 86 houses to make way for an expansion of Blyth Harbour on the north bank of the river. Within days of the proposals being made public (they form part of a submission to the EEC for Euro-aid), the village’s residents had formed an action group to try to secure their homes.
The local authority is due to take a decision on the village’s future next month. Meanwhile, the campaign is attracting considerable attention in the area. The local parish newsletter noted in its August editorial:
The reality of the situation in North Blyth is that the risk comprises the loss of a whole community while the gains to be made in jobs and other benefits to the community at large remain for the present an unknown quantity. In this day and age buildings can almost spring up overnight but it takes a little longer for a house to become a home and more than a lifetime to build a community.
For without such a place, without the companionship of others, we as individuals soon wither and die. We cannot live in isolation, we need the community. A sensible balance has therefore to be maintained between the needs of industry and the needs of the community. Up to now, the balance has been in favour of industry, industry which in the main has declined such favours. Perhaps the time has come for the balance to be restored in favour of the community, one of the essential ingredients for life.