Flood risk at County Hall homes site

The Catchburn in flood back in 2012.
The Catchburn in flood back in 2012.

Flood risk is the latest issue to plague proposals for 200 new homes on the County Hall site at Loansdean.

The Environment Agency has submitted a formal objection to Northumberland County Council and has recommended that planning permission should be refused.

The consultee response states: ‘The submitted FRA (flood risk assessment) does not provide a suitable basis for assessment to be made of the flood risks arising from the proposed development.’

Lesley Smith, who regularly walks her dog on the field that would be lost if the development goes ahead, said: “The stream is normally only a few inches deep and less than a metre wide in the summer, but it floods in the winter and the lower part of the field can become like a lake. I fail to see how houses can be built here and the loss of the open space would affect so many people.”

David Holden, of the South Morpeth Coalition residents’ group, said: “This is another example of how the proposals for the County Hall site are being rushed through with documents either incomplete or inadequate.

“Given recent experiences of flooding in Morpeth, it is inconceivable that this proposal should be granted planning permission.

“It is about time that the council started listening to expert advice and the 550 Morpeth residents who have objected. There isn’t a single letter of support.”

A spokeswoman for Northumberland County Council said: “As this is an active planning application, the council isn’t able to comment further at this stage. All comments made in response to the planning application will be fully taken into account by the strategic planning committee in due course.”