Green light for apartments complex at second attempt

The former Greystoke Surgery site in Kings Avenue.
The former Greystoke Surgery site in Kings Avenue.

A bid to replace a Victorian house in Morpeth with a block of flats has been given the green light at the second time of asking.

The amended apartment scheme, for the site of the former Greystoke Surgery building, on Kings Avenue, was unanimously approved by Northumberland County Council’s planning and rights of way committee on Tuesday.

The proposals had been refused by the committee, against the advice of planning officers, at the December meeting, but Countylife Homes opted to submit an updated application rather than an appeal.

The approved scheme has been altered to comprise five apartments, down from six, and is two-and-a-half -storey, meaning there is no ‘floating’ third floor but a pitched roof.

The block is also smaller than the previous bid with a more traditional design.

Significantly, Morpeth Town Council did not oppose the amended plans, although they did still spark six objections from neighbours.

One of them, Wilf Rees, spoke against the scheme at the meeting, saying: “It was horrible and don’t think this one is any better, it just has a sloped roof.” He also raised concerns about trees, privacy and parking.

However, Coun Andrew Tebbutt, who led the efforts to refuse the application last time, moved approval this time.

Chairman, Coun Milburn Douglas praised the planning officer for her efforts in negotiating with the developer, adding: “I do think this is a massive improvement.”

Coun Glen Sanderson was concerned about the use of white render at the top of the proposed building, asking whether more traditional materials could be used. It was pointed out that white render is already in use on the site, albeit on the modern extensions to the original house.

Coun Tebbutt added: “The more traditional it can be, the better, but we are in a situation where every planning application is about compromise.”