Work starts to shape the future of the town

WORK will begin this week on a document that will shape the future of Morpeth for the next 20 years.

The Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan will form a cornerstone of planning decisions as a key legal document, helping to determine where development should take place.

It will be formed by months of consultation with all sections of the community, before being put to a public vote for approval in a referendum.

All that work will kick-off on Thursday with an official presentation at Morpeth Town Hall to introduce the process, raise awareness and seek feedback from locals.

And for those who can’t make the event, there will be two town centre drop-in sessions.

Morpeth Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee Chairman Graeme Trotter said: “These are exciting times. This is a really positive thing to get started and there is real momentum building with it now.

“The more people who come along the better.

“We hope they engage with us in whatever role they like, whether it is in a group, feeding information to us or just wanting to be kept informed.

“There is going to be a lot of stuff coming out over the next 12 to 18 months.

“It is a lot of work, but it is positive.

“To a degree it is unchartered territory, but it is shaping the future of what Morpeth will look like for the next 15 to 20 years.”

The project is being undertaken by Morpeth Town Council after it was chosen as a Neighbourhood Plan Frontrunner by the Government earlier this year.

The authority will also seek input from the neighbouring parishes of Pegswood, Hepscott, Hebron and Mitford.

Discussions will consider housing, commercial and industrial development and there are four key topic groups of housing, local economy, heritage and local environment.

Other themes, such as transport, education, sports and leisure will also be examined.

The completed plan will set policy, designate protected areas and identify preferred sites for development, and will align with Northumberland County Council’s Local Plan.

The presentation takes place on Thursday, October 18, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

There will be a drop-in at the Town Hall the following day, from noon to 7pm.

On Saturday, October 20 there will be an information stall in the Market Place, from 10am to 1pm.

Launch events are also taking place at Mitford Village Hall on Friday, October 26, from 4pm to 7.30pm, and at Pegswood Social Club on Saturday, October 27, from 10am to 1pm.

For more information contact Dee Cota on 01670 514314, or email deemtc@btconnect.com