Councillors say decision is a disgrace

Councillors have blasted the decision to grant permission for housing at Loansdean, saying Morpeth is being destroyed by developers.

County and town councillor for the area Andrew Tebbutt branded the inspector’s ruling “disgraceful”.

And he slammed Northumberland County Council for failing to adopt a Core Strategy to replace outdated planning policies.

“I think the Loansdean ruling is a disgraceful decision and I feel very sorry for the residents who will have to suffer from it,” he said.

“It is fundamentally down to the failure of the local authority to have its Core Strategy in place some five years after Local Government Review. Now we have this situation where Morpeth is being destroyed by opportunistic developers who don’t give a damn about the existing population and just want to increase their profits.

“It makes me very angry that people can come in from out of the area and make decisions on what is right for the residents of Morpeth, then just leave us to cope with the consequences.”

Morpeth town councillor David Parker, who spoke against the development at the hearing, was equally dismayed.

He said: “This is a very disappointing result. All the hard work that local people have done to put forward an alternative case, and they have made tremendous efforts, has gone unrewarded by the result. In terms of strategic development in Morpeth, I think it is an appalling decision. Any development ought to be in the north of the town — the new road is going there and the Government and local authority are putting a lot of money in partly for that purpose.

“In the Neighbourhood Plan process the public have demonstrated that they accept that very strongly. It is not a NIMBY reaction at all. People can clearly see that the common sense position is to develop the north of the town.”