COUNTY HALL: Proposals do not add up

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We now know the plans that the county leadership wishes to impose upon the County Hall site.

We are to have a ‘consultation’ today (Thursday), from 3pm to 7pm, in County Hall, apparently just so that the developers can tick a box to claim that they have consulted the public.

We all suspect that no notice whatsoever will be taken of our views.

Nevertheless, I encourage residents and businesses alike to inundate them with evidence of our opinions.

Use the forms delivered to all houses south of the river and that the town council has requested be placed in the Library and the Town Hall. I have the electronic version if anybody cannot find a copy.

The proposals are largely contrary to the Neighbourhood Plan, despite it being the only up-to-date plan in legal force and overwhelmingly supported by this community.

A rebuild for Goosehill is understandable and long overdue, and regrettably no alternative town centre site is now available.

However, we need more new homes like a hole in the head. We would lose much valued protected open space.

Edge of town supermarkets have been avoided in the past to protect the vibrancy of the town centre, and this proposal would spell the death knell for the commercial unit already approved on the Bellway site at Loansdean.

Perhaps that will be replaced by even more housing.

A pub and restaurant would threaten the viability of South Morpeth’s much loved ‘local’, the historic and welcoming Sun Inn.

We would also lose the possibility of ever having the Loansdean/Stobhill Link Road, as the land retained for that would be covered in housing. Yet the proposed supermarket and school add to the case for the Link Road.

Since the county council now wants to allocate land for the future growth of Coopies Lane Industrial Estate, this also adds to the case for the Link Road. Without it, these proposals simply add to congestion at Mafeking roundabout.

The county leadership’s proposals do not meet the needs of Morpeth and simply do not add up.

Oh, silly me, of course they do. It’s all about their Ashington heartland and thumbing their noses at Morpeth.

Joan Tebbutt

Chairman Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group