Council opposes homes’ scheme

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A scheme to build 39 houses on the edge of Morpeth will be opposed by town councillors.

Story Homes has applied to build on land south of The Dell in Fulbeck.

But Morpeth Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee has objected over concerns about sewerage capacity and road safety, saying the impact of the Morpeth Northern Bypass and other developments should be assessed before further schemes come forward.

Earlier in the meeting, James Johnson, representing the applicant, said: “Story Homes is very excited about this proposal. It is the first of our signature range to be rolled out, as well as our first development in Northumberland.”

Properties would be priced around £300,000 upwards, with a contribution towards affordable housing off-site.

Mr Johnson said that surface-water storage tanks would reduce run-off from the site from 16 litres per second to 13 or 14 litres per second.

He said that Northumbrian Water had stated that the development could be accommodated by the Morpeth treatment works once an upgrade has been completed.

However, councillors said the increased capacity could already have been reached by other developments.

Coun Nic Best said: “For the north of the town, we need to be thinking longer-term to have a large sewage network.

“My other concern is traffic. The Fulbeck junction is already very busy and by the time this development comes along, if the Secretary of State approves the bypass, there will be a four-way junction to the north of this, and from other developments we are going to have a lot more traffic coming down the A192.

“I would like to see this re-submitted after we have seen the impact of the bypass and what comes through the Neighbourhood Plan.”

Councillors said any affordable-housing contribution should be ring-fenced for Morpeth, and they urged developers to work together to address concerns.

Coun Bob Robertson said: “There has to be something put in place to encourage the developers to talk to each other and arrive at a situation where there is a coherent plan, rather than a race to build houses.”

Northumberland County Council will determine the application.