Developer appeals against decision

AN appeal has been lodged to seek permission for a Morpeth retirement complex off Cottingwood Lane.

Developer McCarthy and Stone has submitted the bid to the Planning Inspectorate following Northumberland County Council’s refusal of the proposal in November.

The application seeks to build 51 retirement flats in an apartment block on the site of the Old Headmaster’s Lawn near King Edward VI School.

County planning officers had recommended approval of the scheme, but it was voted down by the authority’s North Area Planning Committee over concerns about the loss of greenfield land when brownfield sites are available, the size and mass of the building and fears of extreme risks to pedestrian safety.

A 420-name petition and more than 100 letters of objection were submitted against the plans, with protests led by the Cottingwood Lane Residents’ Action Group.

Member and town councillor Les Cassie said: “As a residents’ group we are very disappointed that McCarthy and Stone has chosen to appeal.

“We will be opposing it at the hearing and we are trying to get organised now to get all our documents submitted in time. We will do everything we can to oppose this appeal, as we did with the original application.”

Morpeth Town Council is also opposing the application.