HUNDREDS of Morpeth residents have backed campaigners opposing a proposal for up to 395 homes on the edge of the town centre.
County councillor Ian Lindley and Morpeth town councillor Alison Byard, together with Pam Germaney and Rachael Hogg of the Morpeth Action Group, were in the Market Place on Saturday afternoon collecting signatures for a petition objecting to the plans put forward by Barratt David Wilson Homes and Tees Valley Housing at Stobhill, between the A192 and A196.
They were supported by town councillors David Clark and Bob Robertson, county councillor David Bawn and Philip Ashmore, chairman of Hepscott Parish Council, and everyone involved was amazed with the response from members of the public.
A total of 219 signatures were collected, many from residents who came along specially to add their names after the petition was mentioned in last week’s Herald.
Coun Byard said: “We’d like to thank all those who came along to support us today. The petition has been a great success.
“Morpeth residents are sick of all the overdevelopment threatening to ruin this historic market town.”
The plans are for a mix of two to five-bedroom executive homes, with 30 per cent set aside for affordable housing.
There would be children’s play facilities, ecological enhancements and a new wildlife wetland zone.
Residents have already spoken of their concerns that the infrastructure of Stobhill would not be able to cope with such a large number of homes and they say that there are hundreds of properties for sale in the Morpeth area.
Coun Lindley added: “As the councillor whose division backs onto the proposed site, I am extremely concerned about the effect the disruption on this site will have on existing Stobhill residents, both during the construction stage and when completed.
“The idea of potentially putting another 500 or 600 cars onto the road through Stobhill at rush hour is unsustainable
“This oversized development will reduce the greenbelt between Morpeth and Hepscott, increasing the risk of flooding to both areas, and cause more congestion to the Telford Bridge bottleneck.
“We need as many objection letters to the county council as possible to stop this unwelcome development.”
And Coun Bawn said: “This is an issue which will have a knock-on effect on the whole town.
“I am not against development per se, and in the right area and in the right circumstances, it could be good for Morpeth, however, this proposal is opportunistic and unrealistic. The infrastructure at that end of the town will not be able to cope.”
Campaigners plan to be in the Market Place again this Saturday from noon to 3pm to give residents another opportunity to put their name to the petition.
Anyone seeking help with objections can contact Coun Byard on 07963 306549 or email email@example.com