Plans for new apartments are turned down

A proposal to build 10 apartments in a greenfield area on the edge of Morpeth has been refused.

The outline application for the properties, which would have been classed as affordable, was for land east of Turner Square at Choppington Road. It was put forward by Till Services Ltd.

More than a dozen residents objected to the plans and local councillors also raised a range of concerns.

Planning officers at Northumberland County Council have now turned down the bid under delegated powers, saying that the site is a valued and well utilised protected open space and no assessment of whether the open space is surplus to requirements was submitted with the application, among other reasons for refusal.

The indicative application showed two blocks of five apartments located on the eastern and southern boundaries. The majority of parking would have been on-site, with a small number of on-street spaces provided on the north side of Choppington Road.

A footpath would have linked it to the existing footpath to the west of the site along Choppington Road, with a footpath link to the south as well.

Although the proposal said it had regard to the existing trees in the area, five trees on the site would have needed to be removed.

The submission by Choppington Road resident Chris Givens, one of the objectors, included the following: “It is only one of two entrances to Stobhill and is already a very busy road with heavy traffic, and further development would only cause more congestion.

“Furthermore, the space is already used by dog walkers and children and is home to some very old, very beautiful trees. Some of which would have to be taken out, but all of which would be detrimentally effected by this development.”

The site is in the Hepscott parish and Hepscott Parish Council was against the bid. Given the closeness of the land to the Morpeth Town Council area, the town authority also objected.

They both stated that the apartments would have a negative impact on one of the green gateways into Morpeth.

The other reasons for refusal were that the proposal would have a detrimental impact upon the health and well-being of the local community, visual amenity and the natural and built environment in the area.

In addition, the officers said there was insufficient information with respect to contaminated land in order to make a full assessment.