Concerns have been raised at the prospect of traffic lights being installed on a key road in Morpeth.
The proposal has been revealed in a letter by Persimmon’s Charles Church brand to the town council giving an update on its planning application for 53 new homes on land north of The Garth at Pottery Bank.
Redesign work has been carried out and the developer says it will soon be submitting details of the changes to Northumberland County Council.
They include putting in place a traffic-light arrangement on the A192 to access the development instead of the previously proposed roundabout junction design.
It says as a result of the Story Homes approval for 39 properties on a nearby site, which has separate access arrangements, it is considered that a roundabout would be a ‘significantly over-engineered access solution and create excessive disruption during the construction phase’.
The firm had seen the roundabout as being used to access both developments.
There were major protests, including a march to County Hall, when traffic lights were installed five years ago. They were removed in the autumn of 2013.
The response from Morpeth Town Council includes the following: ‘If traffic lights were to be installed at this location, they would obstruct the traffic and slow it down.
‘The impact of temporary traffic lights in this area during recent works has caused northbound traffic to back up to Bullers Green.
‘They would block the Fulbeck junction, affecting both the residents there and the new Story Homes development, and they would also be visually intrusive along the landscape corridor.
‘A roundabout may help residents from Lancaster Park, who have difficulty accessing the A192 at busy times, and may slow traffic speed down Pottery Bank.’
In relation to what it believes are the benefits of traffic lights instead of a roundabout, the Persimmon letter states: ‘The roundabout access design involves a far greater land take than the traffic-light junction arrangement.
‘This would result in significant upheaval of services around the existing junction of Leslie’s View.
‘Due to the reduced land requirement of the traffic-light junction, an enhanced landscape scheme at the entrance of the proposed development is possible.’
Dozens of objections to the planning application were submitted by local residents earlier this year.
Duncan Bennett, who lives in Pottery Bank Court, stated: ‘The development would result in an oppressive overlook and loss of amenity to Pottery Bank Court.
‘This is a greenfield site that should be preserved and not treated as urban infill, and there would be a loss of wildlife and plantlife habitat.’
The submission of Lancaster Park resident John Jones included the following: ‘There are currently more housing approvals than were envisaged by the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan for the next 15 years.
‘No further applications should be approved by the county council at present and especially on green sites.’