Another bid for housing at greenfield site in town

Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.
Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

A developer is once again seeking planning permission for a major housing scheme near Morpeth town centre.

In February, a majority of members at a meeting of Northumberland County Council’s Castle Morpeth Local Area Council voted against the bid from Persimmon’s Charles Church brand to build 53 homes on greenfield land north of The Garth at Pottery Bank.

Now the company has submitted another application for the same number of properties.

The application site is the southern extent of land known as Peacock Gap and lies directly south of a site that has planning permission, following a successful appeal, for 39 residential dwellings by Story Homes.

At the meeting in February, members heard concerns raised on behalf of residents in Pottery Bank Court near the proposed site.

They included having a SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems) pond close to their homes, the increased traffic the development would cause and the impact on local wildlife.

Dozens of objections have been lodged against the recent application.

The comments of Pottery Bank Court resident Graham Fewell include the following: ‘The traffic situation to the north of Morpeth is already under strain, particularly as a result of the Storey Homes development at Fulbeck.

‘Many children need to cross the main A192 close to the proposed development and this scheme is going to make this task even more hazardous than it already is, regardless of whether traffic lights are put in or not.

‘There would be a massive reduction in habitat for the rich and varied fauna that make use of the field and adjoining woodland.

‘Bats, badgers, foxes, deer, red squirrels, kestrels, buzzards and crayfish are amongst the creatures that are likely to suffer from habitat loss and the deleterious effects of general human activity in their proximity.

‘The proposal itself is essentially the same as the previous proposal that was turned down. Nothing radically new has been put forward and the same problems that existed before exist now, only on a bigger scale.

‘The only sensible conclusion, therefore, is that this development is totally superfluous to the needs of Morpeth, its current inhabitants and those wishing to come to live in the town.’

Morpeth Town Council’s objection includes these issues and it also states that the proposal is ‘contrary to the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan’.

Other objections have been submitted by residents in Lancaster Park and other parts of Morpeth.

At the meeting in February, Persimmon argued that the land is not designated for any purpose and there would be ‘significant and sensitive buffers’ between the site and nearby properties.

It said all technical issues have been met and referred to the report by planning officers, which recommended approval.

Its design and access statement for the latest application includes the following: ‘We consider that the scheme is a logical and sustainable location for residential development due to it being within the settlement boundaries of a key area of growth for Northumberland, with walking access to a number of schools, bus stops and other services within the town centre.’