House building funding ‘will not be ring-fenced’

Calls for extra Government funding from new house building to be ring-fenced for Morpeth have been rejected by the county council.

The New Homes Bonus is paid to authorities for increasing the number of homes, based on the amount of extra council tax revenue raised and the provision of affordable housing.

Morpeth town councillor Joan Tebbutt says that funds generated from recently approved house-building schemes at Stobhill and Loansdean should be spent locally.

“This grant goes into the coffers of the county council. I would like to think our county councillors will take forward the idea that the money should be spent in Morpeth,” she said.

“There are so many things we need, such as a leisure centre and heritage centre.

“Morpeth is a community that has community needs. It is not just a place to build houses without any other facilities.”

However, a spokeswoman for Northumberland County Council said: “The New Homes Bonus is not a ring-fenced grant, it is a general grant. As a general grant it can be utilised by the county council as it sees fit. There are no plans to ring-fence this money to the Morpeth area.”