Businesses urged to help form Plan

Bridge Street, Morpeth
Bridge Street, Morpeth

BUSINESSES in Morpeth have been urged to play their part in shaping the town’s future.

The Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan is currently being drafted by community representatives and residents to determine where future development should be in the town and surrounding parishes, as well as the type of facilities that will be needed.

Now Greater Morpeth Development Trust Chief Executive and Morpeth Town Team Chairman David Lodge has encouraged local businesses to have their say.

At a meeting of the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade last week, he said: “There were about 60 people who attended an aspirational session looking at the future of the town centre. It was benchmarking where Morpeth is now against other towns and setting out what we need to do to sustain the rising position. It was very good.

“Now we are getting to the stage in the Neighbourhood Plan process where one or two ideas need to be developed. There are lots of opportunities for people to get involved and help shape the future of Morpeth as a market town and destination.

“There is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved and for the chamber to play a part.”

Public feedback on the Issues and Options consultation on the Plan is now being reviewed and the draft Plan is being refined.

By the end of March, there will have been engagement with key stakeholders, landowners and developers, and draft policies should be agreed by the end of April. Consultation on the draft Plan should take place in June and July.

There will then be analysis of the feedback by the steering group, and policies and allocations will be refined, before the Plan, associated documentation and the consultation statement is submitted to Northumberland County Council.

A referendum will then take place to seek public approval for its adoption.