‘Eyesore’ concern for town building

Morpeth Court House Apartments.'REF 2909143823
Morpeth Court House Apartments.'REF 2909143823

A fence outside a landmark Morpeth building has come in for criticism.

The wooden structure at the front of the Grade II-listed Court House in Castle Square was put in place as a safety measure a few years ago when pieces of stone from the building fell to the ground.

However, George Slaughter believes that it ruins the view of the building and the drive into the town centre along the A197, and the time has come for a new design.

Although now residing in Nottinghamshire, the 77-year-old has lived most of his life in Pegswood and comes back to the area to see family every couple of months.

He said: “Driving into Morpeth from the south past the golf club, Sun Inn and the sweep of well tended lawns, flower beds and trees down to Castle Square is a most heat­-warming experience.

“However, one is then confronted with the sight of that ugly cheap brown wooden fence and chain link gates, which ruin the view of one of the most iconic buildings in the town. It’s such a shame that it’s sort of being hidden away at the moment.

“When, oh when will these monstrosities be dismantled, or have they developed roots?

“They have been there for quite a while now and no development is imminent, so the county council should now insist that a more attractive solution needs to be installed.

“I would like to see wrought iron gates put in place, they would look so much better.”

The Court House has been on the market to buy or rent for more than a year.

Planning permission was granted to revert part of the building back to a restaurant or bar, although it could have now expired.

It comprises of a number of large rooms, including the main hall and auditorium, and some of its original features are still in place, such as vaulted ceilings and the sweeping staircase.

A Northumberland County Council spokeswoman said that a structure at the front of the building is still required on safety grounds.

Mr Slaughter has also written to Morpeth Town Council and the authority’s property and asset management committee is set to discuss the matter at its next meeting later this month.