Decision day for defence scheme

FLOOD defence plans for Morpeth town centre will go before planners next week.

The Environment Agency’s flood alleviation scheme will be debated by Northumberland County Council’s North Area Planning Committee on Thursday.

Officers have recommended approval of planning permission, subject to 16 conditions.

However, the plans form only one part of the total scheme as there are still outstanding issues about construction traffic for the upstream floodwater storage system and that application is likely to be considered in January.

The project to be considered next week covers Morpeth town centre with a mix of flood walls, embankments, repairs to existing defences, raising of ground levels and floodgates.

At Lowford Bridge nine five-metre-high concrete poles would be placed across the river to trap large debris. Flood walls would be built in Mitford Road, and in High Stanners there would be raising of ground levels, an embankment, floodgates and a section of wall.

Some lower sections of the balustrade at Oldgate Bridge would be filled in and St Robert’s Church would be protected by an embankment, while properties in Collingwood Terrace and Wansbeck Street would have measures such as guards over air bricks and window alterations.

Flood walls would be extended or constructed at Pretoria Avenue, around the Chantry and at Bennett’s Walk. In Low Stanners there would be raising work and walls. Work would also take place to the ground levels, culvert inlets and manhole covers around local burns.

Four letters of objection were submitted over the design of a wall in Mitford Road, but the plans have been amended.

Officers say the scheme will reduce the risk of flooding, views of the defences would be limited and there would not be a detrimental impact on listed buildings, the conservation area or residential amenity.