Council puts key town centre site on the market

The Terrace site in Morpeth will be put on the market on Monday.
The Terrace site in Morpeth will be put on the market on Monday.

Morpeth’s masterplan has taken a step forward as one of the town’s important development sites is going on the market.

Northumberland County Council has been working with a range of stakeholders, including the Morpeth Forum, to develop a strategy on how the town develops over the next few years and how services can best be delivered to local residents and visitors.

Public events have been held to encourage people to share their views on the future of the town – with the area formerly known as the Riverside generating a lot of interest about what it could be used for in the future.

Now called The Terrace, the council is moving ahead by taking the site, which contains the old library site, The Willows and Beechfield buildings, onto the market.

Coun Richard Wearmouth, cabinet member for economic development, said: “The public events we’ve held really seem to have captured residents’ imagination and a lot of people have asked about the future of this area and what it could be used for.

“While we’re keeping an open mind, we are looking for the development of the site to fit in with the vision of the masterplan.”

The former library building was demolished towards the end of last year to provide a temporary car parking area.

The site goes onto the market on Monday.

Simon Brierley, consultant at selling agent George F White, said: “There are very few development sites available in Morpeth town centre and we are very pleased to be involved in the marketing of The Terrace, which will be of considerable interest to the development market and should attract developers and commercial occupiers from all over the region.

“Its central location and frontage to the river will add to its attraction.

“Morpeth has been the object of considerable development and improvements over the last few years, with the Sanderson Arcade, retail park and new Morrisons providing retailing and other facilities encouraging local shopping and consequent improvements to the town’s economy.

“It’s anticipated that The Terrace site will further complement the range of offering in the town and further benefit the town centre’s economy.”

At the council’s latest event in Morpeth Town Hall last month, there was a Morpeth masterplan update and representatives of developers and organisations attended to showcase what they are planning.

There was a lot of excitement about the new proposals at Morpeth Town FC to improve facilities for players, supporters and the community in general at its Craik Park ground.

It was confirmed that work will be starting on the Pleased To Meet You bar and restaurant at the Queen’s Head, Bridge Street.

North East-based developers Roseville Asset Management Limited announced proposals to redevelop the former Benfield Motors car showroom and former garage workshop premises at Castle Square and Hillgate into a new luxury scheme of 46 apartments and five townhouses, which includes underground car parking.

Zonic Developments, the developer behind the conversion of the new Lollo Rosso restaurant, hopes the restaurant at Elm House will provide an alternative fine dining experience for the people of Morpeth, along the lines of Cafe 21 in Newcastle.

It is anticipated that the work on converting the property will start in the summer and be completed within six months.