Temporary car park raises concerns

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CONCERNS have been raised about a new temporary car park.

Last week the Herald reported that the facility is being provided by Northumberland County Council off Goosehill to ease the pressure on long-stay spaces.

It will only be available to people who have bought the Northumberland Countywide Parking Permit.

Members of Morpeth Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee welcomed the initiative to improve long-stay provision, but they did have concerns.

Acting Chairman David Parker said: “I have had a resident in my ward raising objections to this. He has grandchildren at Goosehill School and his remark was that it is not appropriate for a car park to be that close to a school because of the turning of the cars, particularly as the road is narrow and cars go up and down it.

“The other point is that he thinks the county council needs temporary planning permission for this and there has been no application for it.

“I think we need to remind the council of that. There are obviously a lot of merits of the scheme, but the county council is subject to its own planning laws like everyone else.”

However, Mayor Mark Horton said: “I think we all understand the rationale behind this to provide spaces in the run-up to Christmas. The only reason this has been done is because the new Morrisons’ car park has fallen behind programme.

“From a personal point of view I can’t see any problem with it.”

And Coun Dave Herne said: “The people parking there are not going to be coming in and out at school times. They are going to be in and getting ready to open their shops by 9am and they will not come out until the shops close and the kids are well away so I don’t see that there is a great conflict with the school.”

He did ask if a separate entrance and exit to the car park could be provided to ease congestion in Goosehill.

The committee will write to the county authority about the issues raised and seek assurances that enforcement officers will monitor the car park.

County council officers said last week that the car park can only come into operation when relevant legal permissions are secured.