Locals draw up a wish list for development

A WISH list for the development of Morpeth town centre has been drawn up by locals.

Residents and business owners from the town were invited to put forward their ideas for future facilities and land uses as part of the Neighbourhood Plan process.

The Plan will set out the development principles for Morpeth and surrounding areas for the next 20 years, taking account of housing, the economy, environment and heritage.

The workshop at Morpeth Town Hall last week focused on the town centre and around 60 people attended to give their views.

Plan Steering Group Chairman Ken Brown said: “The workshop went very well. I recognised quite a lot of representatives of various organisations in the town and a lot of people who are interested in the development of the Neighbourhood Plan.

“We came up with lots of ideas of how to spend money that we haven’t got. It is more of a wish list at this stage, but there were a lot of good ideas. Small project teams will now go off and look at each of these ideas in some detail and roll out the business case for them.”

Issues and Options for the Plan were put out for consultation in the autumn, but now more detailed proposals will be formed.

The workshop considered retail mix, traffic management, heritage and development opportunities, as well as looking at Morpeth’s role in the county and region.

Coun Brown said: “I think the real difference now is that we have started to identify specific areas. In the past we said ‘wouldn’t it be great to have a heritage centre or a hotel?’. Now we are looking at places like the library and Willows complex as a good site for various activities.”