Council receives complaints over site deliveries

A Morpeth resident who lives near a development being worked on in the town centre has raised what he believes are health and safety concerns with Northumberland County Council.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 24 May, 2019, 21:20
Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

A second bid to convert into apartments the grade II-listed 94 Newgate Street, commonly known as Wansbeck House, was approved by county councillors in April 2018. The application also includes four bungalows elsewhere on the site.

An initial proposal with larger bungalows was refused in January 2018, against officer advice. But an appeal against this was dismissed this January.

Paul Raven has contacted the local authority on four occasions, the first of which was on March 19.

He described the situation that happened on the same day as: ‘Workers unloading materials to the Registry Office development from Cottingwood Lane, causing a safety hazard for drivers and pedestrians.’

On April 24, Mr Raven said in his email that a delivery was ‘unloaded by a tractor/forklift from the site, which needed to cross over the footpath to access the load’.

He added: ‘This must surely be against health and safety rules. There are lots of school children using the footpath.’

A delivery vehicle causing a traffic blockage on May 2 and work starting on site at 7.45am on April 25, earlier than the start time of 8am in the planning approval conditions, were also reported.

The Old Registry, a nod to one of its most recent uses, is the first development of Northumberland Homes Ltd, whose directors had previously spoken about their aim to complete the development this summer or autumn.

But issues with the conversion led to a new application being lodged for the conversion of the building to accommodate 12 self-contained apartments (reduced from 13).

Gary Herron, managing director at Northumberland Homes Ltd, said: “One of our priorities throughout this project will always be the residents of Morpeth.

“Unfortunately, due to the nature of the site, access is limited, however we do our utmost to avoid any disruption to the local community.

“Health and safety regulations are always adhered to and Northumberland Homes has an exemplary record in this area.

“We are very disappointed that, following a positive eight months of development since August 2018, complaints have recently been made by one local resident.

“We always welcome feedback from the local community and will take on board any comments made.”

A county council spokesman said: “In response to the earlier issue (March 19) being raised with us, we spoke to the developer.

“We were unaware of the subsequent issues and are looking into these.”