Fast food outlet by school ‘doesn’t make much sense’

Coun Joan Tebbutt speaking at the public meeting on Monday, with fellow South Morpeth Coalition member David Holden looking on. Picture by Jane Coltman.
Coun Joan Tebbutt speaking at the public meeting on Monday, with fellow South Morpeth Coalition member David Holden looking on. Picture by Jane Coltman.
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At the public meeting on Monday, it was confirmed by chairman of governors Coun Joan Tebbutt that no-one at Morpeth First School knew in advance of the housing and commercial schemes being proposed.

Northumberland County Council will soon submit a detailed bid for a new first school to replace the current school at Goosehill to the front of the County Hall site in Loansdean.

The building footprint will be bigger than the premises in Middle Greens as the nursery will be larger, but many of those in attendance agreed with a suggestion to oppose the housing scheme and use part of the re-allocated space to increase the school provision – the council is set to move its headquarters to a new building in Ashington.

Coun Tebbutt, also a member of the South Morpeth Coalition which organised the meeting, said the authority had told governors that no sites would be available in the town centre for a replacement school.

She added: “The planned location is surrounded by trees and that will allow us to set up a forest school.

“But having a supermarket and fast food outlet next to us doesn’t make much sense.”

Referring to her role as a town councillor, she added that this authority will “carefully consider its options” when it comes to the forthcoming applications.

Meanwhile, Morpeth resident Maureen Howes has raised the issue of what the council will do about the sculptured wall murals in County Hall, particularly one of Emily Wilding Davison, and other artworks in the building.

She added that she would like to retain the building and convert it into a community complex similar to the ‘wonderful’ Bourne Hall, run by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council.

A county council spokesman said: “Residents can be reassured that the council will manage the relocation to the new headquarters building in a way which will protect the history and culture of the county.

“Careful consideration will be given to the relocation or secure storage of any artworks of historical importance to the county and beyond. For this reason, the cataloguing of artwork and objects of interest within the existing County Hall building is currently underway.”