Restaurant receives calls about housing after number switch

The advertising sign for Linden Homes that is currently in place on land belonging to Morpeth Golf Club.

The advertising sign for Linden Homes that is currently in place on land belonging to Morpeth Golf Club.

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Baffled staff at a Morpeth restaurant could not believe their ears when they received telephone calls from people looking to buy a new home.

The wrong number issue relates to the big advertising sign for a housing scheme on a section of the former St George’s Hospital site.

The display for Linden Homes, Galliford Try’s house-building division, was installed on land belonging to Morpeth Golf Club and it has been in place for more than a month. A few weeks ago, the company submitted a retrospective planning application.

The bid has received objections from residents and Morpeth Town Council and someone, presumably a person unimpressed with the sign, has replaced the sales office number with the number for Tandoor Mahal in Bridge Street.

When contacted by the Herald, the restaurant confirmed that it had received a few calls inquiring about the homes available in the Saint George scheme and they had no idea why.

The Tandoor Mahal number has now been taken off the sign and the correct number has been restored.

Gemma Barry, marketing co-ordinator with Linden Homes North East, said: “Regrettably, an administrative error led to the sign being erected without planning permission and we apologise for that. 

“An application has now been made to Northumberland County Council for the sign to be permitted.

“It (putting on the restaurant’s number) has been done quite professionally, so people could hardly notice.

“The sign is meant to be an appetiser for the superb new homes we are building at Saint George but it seems instead it has been currying favour for the Tandoor Mahal! We will be contacting the restaurant to see whether there have been any orders for hot new homes.”

She added: “In the meantime, we hope any potential customers that we have missed, who decided to order a takeaway, enjoyed their meal.”