Bypass consultation

MORPETH residents will have the chance to put forward their views on the final version of the town’s Northern Bypass at two public sessions.

Northumberland County Council will be meeting householders, businesses, community organisations and groups to discuss the plans and ask for feedback on several aspects of the £30million scheme.

These include the options for crossing the bypass at Fulbeck Lane, the access routes for construction vehicles and the proposals for screening the road.

The new road would link the A197 at Whorral Bank to the A1 south of Fairmoor.

Estimates from traffic modelling suggest that it will reduce traffic in Morpeth town centre by 22 per cent, as well as unlock potential development sites for housing and businesses to the north of the town.

The consultation is being held ahead of the authority’s submission of an application to the Planning Inspectorate for a Development Consent Order (DCO) in the autumn. Should this be approved, the DCO would grant all the necessary permissions for the proposed bypass, such as planning, compulsory purchase orders and traffic orders.

Council Executive Member for Infrastructure and Environment Simon Reed said: “We are currently doing a lot of work to prepare for the DCO and as part of this it is vital that we consult with stakeholders and residents.

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“This will allow us to discuss different aspects of the scheme in more detail and we will be asking for feedback on the different options for some parts of the development ahead of our submission in the autumn.

“I would urge anyone who has a view about the plans for the new bypass to attend one of the public meetings or contact the council.”

If approval is granted, construction work would begin in spring 2014 and the bypass would be completed by winter 2015.

Consultation runs until Monday, September 17.

The public events will take place in Morpeth Town Hall on Thursday, August 23, between 11am and 7.30pm, and Tuesday, September 4 from 11am to 7.30pm.

Consultation begins on Monday. People who are unable to attend the sessions can view the plans at County Hall in Loansdean, Morpeth Library and the Town Hall. Information is also available online at www.morpethnorthernbypass.org