New building approved for Northumbria Police's marine unit and diving school in Jarrow

Plans for a new storage and maintenance building at the base of Northumbria Police’s Marine Unit and Diving School have been given the green light.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 3:31 pm

A planning application was lodged with South Tyneside Council’s planning department in August 2021 for the site off Tyne Approach in Jarrow.

The plans for a new ‘boat shed’ came from the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner and aimed to improve storage facilities for vessels.

A design and access statement submitted with the application said there is currently no dedicated covered area on site for essential maintenance works to the boats – which is “key for their safe and efficient operation.”

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Northumbria Police's marine boat Northumbrian takes to the water - it is one of a number of boats used by the team during their patrols and as part of operations.

The statement added that the new building would be “critical for the force’s marine and specialist search team’s operations” as well as protecting the boats from theft and “wear and tear of their components.”

After consultation, planners approved the application on September 21, 2021.

The new lightweight structure will have a total area of 91m2 and will benefit from direct access to the River Tyne via a pontoon and slipway.

It will also be designed to respect the character, form and scale of the site and its surroundings.

Northumbria Police's marine unit is based in Jarrow, with its pontoon giving them access to the River Tyne.

The Marine Unit and Diving School consists of the main two-storey diving school to the centre of the site and a helicopter pad to the far west.

For years, the premises has been the base and training centre for the force’s specialist search team, which is capable of looking for missing persons and recovering items criminals have attempted to dispose of underwater.

According to the design and access statement for the new boat shed, it “would not be cost effective or practical for Northumbria Police to acquire additional waterfront property” so it is “important to use the site efficiently.”

The planning statement adds: “The new building will be appropriate for its location and use, providing protection of the boats against inclement weather, therein, presenting fewer challenges when carrying out repairs, and allowing for the continued invaluable service and essential training provided by the marine policing team.”

Northumbria Police's marine unit in action.

Under planning conditions, works on the new boat shed must commence on site within the next three years.

For more information on the application or to view the plans, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/0772/21/FUL

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Northumbria Police's marine unit training pool