Bid to alter flats’ conditions has caused concern

Councillors have expressed concern over moves to vary conditions of a prime town centre building site.

Applicant Lend Lease has applied to postpone several conditions of the planning consent for apartments at the former Davidsons of Morpeth site at Telford Bridge to minimise costs.

Under the existing permission, details of landscaping, boundary treatment, materials, delivery times, construction access, wheel cleaning, access, parking, flood risk work and surface water run-off arrangements must be settled with Northumberland County Council before any development work begins.

However, the applicant wishes to postpone discharging some of the conditions until it is ready to start ‘above-ground’ work, and others until the flats are complete, prior to occupation.

The application has raised several objections from nearby residents, and Morpeth Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee is also opposed to the bid over the impact on Middle Greens, Morpeth First School, Castle Square and the roads around the bridge.

Coun Nic Best said: “It seems me that this sort of thing would be ok if it wasn’t a town centre site. If it was out on the edge of the town it wouldn’t matter so much, but this is next to a school, next to the main bottleneck entrance to the town and next to the entrance to a housing estate. We should resist this.”

Acting Chairman Bob Robertson agreed. “I think this is more to do with not spending money than anything else and we want to resist the changes,” he said.

The county council will determine the application.