PLANNING: Residents need to be heard

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Only a couple of weeks after the community consultation, a full planning application for retail units has been submitted by a developer for land that is owned by Northumberland County Council and is adjacent to the current County Hall building in Morpeth.

The application includes a ‘drive-thru’ restaurant directly opposite a proposed first school so our youngsters will be peering out of the window onto a fast food joint while learning about the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables.

The combination of a first school and a ‘drive-thru’ also appears somewhat contradictory from a road safety perspective.

At the consultation event, it was asked if the out of town centre site is a suitable location for new retail, food and drinks units, 77% disagreed with nine per cent neutral; leaving only 14% in favour.

So the residents of Morpeth have been consulted and have overwhelming rejected the proposal on offer but this is ignored and a planning application nevertheless follows.

Will Northumberland County Council’s planning committee listen to the views of Morpeth residents when the application is determined or will the opinions of those that should matter most be ignored again?

Paul Scott

Morpeth