Objections to housing plans for hospital site

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Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

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Concerns have been raised following the submission of a planning application to convert the derelict Morpeth Cottage Hospital into housing.

Helen McArdle Care bought the former hospital and surrounding land from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust last autumn and the company that runs the Foxton Court care home next to the site was looking to build various types of accommodation for up to 80 pensioners.

But it then decided to sell the 1.37-hectare site to Galliford Try, subject to contract and the granting of planning permission.

The 39 properties proposed consist of four-bedroom townhouses, four and five-bedroom detached two-storey homes and three two-bedroom flats over garages.

More than 20 objections have been lodged so far, among those against the bid are Loansdean residents Glyn and Elizabeth Jones.

Their response includes the following: ‘Transport issues are a real concern. The old hospital did have traffic entering and leaving the grounds, but this was not concentrated at peak times and was before the extra housing developments in the area.’

Deuchar Park resident Dr David Weightman said in his objection: ‘The proposed building mass will completely dominate the existing houses, cause serious loss of privacy and be out of context with the environment.’

Other issues raised include the impact the scheme would have on trees and wildlife in the area and local surface water drainage infrastructure.

The design and access statement submitted on behalf of Galliford Try says: ‘The proposed development will be an asset to the area and will not cause detriment to the surrounding properties, due to the topography and surrounding trees.

‘The scheme will ensure that the ecology of the site is well maintained and that trees to be retained are healthy.’