Decision on big development is deferred at last minute

Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.
Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

A decision on the controversial Mitford Estate application will not happen today as it has been deferred.

Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee was due to determine the bid for a greenfield site on the edge of Morpeth to the north and west of Lancaster Park at a meeting in County Hall this afternoon.

If approved, there would be 150 new homes, a 2,100 sq ft ‘innovation centre’ for employment, a 60-bed hotel, roadside services, a pub/restaurant and parkland.

A spokeswoman for the authority said: “The strategic planning committee has agreed to defer consideration of this application.

“Issues have arisen at a late stage, which require further consideration by officers before the committee can make a decision on the application.”

Those opposing the plans were dealt a blow last week when the officer report recommended approval.
The report said: ‘It is considered that the proposal’s economic benefits would far outweigh the development plan policies on which the proposals would be contrary.’

Morpeth North county councillor David Bawn said: “I welcome the last minute decision to defer this controversial application.

“Hopefully, the planners will take the opportunity to re-examine the application in the light of the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan and the emerging Northumberland Core Strategy, and if and when it does proceed to the committee reconsider their recommendation for approval.

“This application, as it stands, is against both the letter and spirit of the neighbourhood plan and the core strategy and it should be rejected.”