Approval is still on the cards for big scheme

The meeting of Northumberland County Council's strategic planning committee will take place at County Hall in Morpeth, pictured above, on Tuesday from 2pm.
The meeting of Northumberland County Council's strategic planning committee will take place at County Hall in Morpeth, pictured above, on Tuesday from 2pm.
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A recommendation to approve controversial development plans on the edge of Morpeth will be back on the table next week.

Planners at County Hall are once again advising councillors on the strategic planning committee to give Mitford Estate’s amended outline bid for a greenfield site to the north and west of Lancaster Park the green light.

The number of homes was reduced to 150 and the employment offer – the main feature of which is a 2,100 sq ft ‘innovation centre’ – was increased following Northumberland County Council’s decision to allocate the site as designated employment land in its major modifications to the core strategy.

Also included in the plans are a 60-bed hotel, roadside services, a pub/restaurant and parkland.

The application was set to go before councillors last month, but it was deferred at the meeting because ‘issues have arisen at a late stage, which require further consideration by officers’.

The bid is set to be considered during the committee’s meeting at County Hall on Tuesday – it starts at 2pm and it is open to the public – and the officer report is again recommending approval.

It says: ‘It is considered that the economic benefits that the proposals would generate far outweigh the development plan policies on which the proposals would be contrary.

‘The recommendation is to grant planning permission, subject to the satisfactory resolution of issues raised by the council’s Public Protection department and subject to the completion of a section 106 agreement.’