Residents prepare for new plan fight

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HOUSING giant Bellway is expected to present new plans for a site at Loansdean by Christmas.

The developer saw its initial proposals for 200 homes and a commercial unit on the edge of Morpeth rejected by Northumberland County Council in February and in August Planning Inspector Malcolm Rivett also ruled out the scheme on appeal.

However, Bellway is challenging the Inspector’s decision in the High Court.

And last month it revealed that it was also considering a new application for the Loansdean site.

Now the company has written to residents’ group the South Morpeth Coalition, which successfully fought off the original plans, to say the new proposal should be submitted before Christmas and to invite members to a meeting to discuss it.

The two sides are due to meet on Friday, but coalition member David Holden said there is little chance that the group will accept the scheme.

He said: “Bellway did write that it is looking to submit the application before Christmas, but we have absolutely none of the detail. It is saving that for the meeting. We won’t know anything until Bellway opens that box.

“We don’t think any plans would be acceptable. We are just fundamentally opposed to development on that site so we would expect to object to it.

“We feel that development should be to the north of the town so it is unlikely that Bellway is going to be able to put anything forward to change our minds.”

Morpeth Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee has invited Bellway to present its proposal to the group prior to the start of its next meeting at 6pm on Wednesday.

The group’s Chairman and Vice-Chairman have also asked if they can attend the coalition’s meeting as observers.

Bellway’s High Court challenge is expected to be listed next week.

The company said it was unable to comment further on its plans at this stage.