Developers are urged to withdraw Stobhill plans

Members of the public visiting  the site of proposed new homes at Stobhill, Morpeth.'REF 1301147947
Members of the public visiting the site of proposed new homes at Stobhill, Morpeth.'REF 1301147947

HOUSING developers have been called on to withdraw their plans for Stobhill following the shock proposal to sell-off County Hall.

County councillor for the area Glen Sanderson has issued the plea to give people time to consider the impact of the council plans.

Barratt Homes and Tees Valley Housing are seeking permission to build 396 homes on a field between the A196 and A192, south of Morpeth.

But Coun Sanderson says it would be wrong for developers to pursue a greenfield site if a massive brownfield plot is to soon become available.

“I would like to make an open plea to the developers to do the honourable thing and not to continue with their application while the Labour Administration decides what it is doing with County Hall,” he said.

“It would be entirely premature and wrong to pursue this application for Stobhill.”

Coun Sanderson said a number of concerns remain about the Stobhill plans and after the Environment Agency indicated that it would not object on flooding grounds, he said residents in Hepscott are eager to seek a second opinion.

“I asked at the site visit last week whether it might be prudent to get a second opinion on the issue regarding flooding,” he said.

“At the moment we are relying on the Environment Agency, which has statutory responsibility on planning matters, but I feel nevertheless that it would be appropriate, given the risk and to give comfort to local people, to seek a second opinion. We should get expert advice just to double check.”

He said there are also fears that the development could increase road safety problems and congestion, and has called for residents to be given ample time to consider a traffic assessment.

“We are expecting answers from a traffic study that the county council is undertaking, but I worry that there might not be sufficient time to study and challenge that piece of work if the plan is to take the application to the council in February or March,” he said.