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Bid lodged to replace first school in Morpeth at new site

A section of the proposed site for the new Morpeth First School.
A section of the proposed site for the new Morpeth First School.

A new planning application for a school in Morpeth has been submitted after it was put on hold last year when controversial development plans were withdrawn.

The current Morpeth First School in Goosehill is more than 100 years old and Northumberland County Council has been looking for a site to build a replacement school for some time.

The previous Labour administration proposed a new site across the road on the County Hall site. If the full plans for the area had gone ahead, this would have fitted in with new housing and a retail element on the former fire station site in Loansdean.

Many residents raised concerns at the time because the retail element would have included a fast food drive-thru.

The plans for the school were looked at again when the retail and housing developers pulled out last May after the Conservatives formed the new administration following the election and abandoned the planned move of the council headquarters to Ashington.

The new proposal will see a two-storey school occupying the site that had been identified for the retail park.

It will also include external play areas, a multi use games area and associated parking.

Jack Gebhard, Morpeth town councillor for the Kirkhill ward, said: “The proposed location is the one that should have been chosen in the first place.

“I am delighted with this outcome and am sure this view will be shared by the many Morpeth residents who had concerns about the previous proposal.”

County and town councillor for Morpeth Kirkhill, Richard Wearmouth, added: “A new school would be great news for the children, parents and staff of Goosehill First School.

“Replacing the old school is a key priority for the town.”

Residents can view the plans on the county council’s website (planning section) using application reference 18/00715/CCD.