PLAN: Vote yes to fill policy vacuum

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At last a plan that is specific to Morpeth and surrounding areas.

Morpeth has been, and remains, a target for developers due to its character, environment, schools, town centre, shopping facilities, and the list goes on.

The problem has been that new housing developments, however much they are needed, have been built to suit the developers, i.e. where they owned land or had options on it, with the inherent danger that they will damage and spoil what is great about the area.

This was largely due to the planning vacuum we found ourselves in, which has been addressed in the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan, which has been worked on for more than three years by dedicated volunteers from the community.

The plan contains planning policies not only relating to housing, but also heritage, sports, arts and leisure, education, economy, environment, transport and infrastructure.

In other words, this is a comprehensive strategic plan with a vision for the next 20 years, and to which all developers will have to adhere in their planning applications.

There is, however, one further step in the process.

A referendum is to be held on February 25, and there must be a majority in favour in order for the plan to be adopted.

Please take the time to support this once in a lifetime opportunity to vote for the plan, otherwise we will continue to live in a planning vacuum, giving carte blanche to the developers to do what they like in Morpeth and surrounding areas.

Graeme Trotter

Morpeth resident and volunteer on the Plan Preparation Group