Pressure stepped up for flood work

WORK is continuing to try to get the Morpeth flood alleviation scheme approved before Christmas.

Members of Morpeth Town Council were told by county council planning officer Tony Carter that he and his colleagues are aiming to get all the necessary reports done by the end of October so the application can be determined in December.

And both the Northumberland authority and Environment Agency want both parts of the project to be considered at the same time.

The proposal, which involves an upstream storage dam on the Mitford Estate, building new flood defences in the town where none currently exist and improving existing walls and embankments where needed, was lodged in early September.

At a meeting of the town council’s Planning and Transport Committee, Mr Carter added: “Although we are trying to get the reports completed in the next three weeks, rest assured we are going through each section of the application with a fine tooth comb.

“The highways department is quite happy with the vehicular movements in Morpeth during the works, but it does have concerns about them in Mitford so negotiations are on-going over a possible alternative route.”

The committee welcomed the application, although members did make some comments that they hope will be addressed.

They include parking arrangements for contractors as work will take place across the town centre, making sure big events such as the Morpeth Gathering and a major duathlon on Easter Monday – which require road closures – are not affected and ensuring that noise from the works does not disturb residents or town activities such as church services.

Chairman of the committee, Graeme Trotter, said: “The scheme will provide vital flood defences for residents across Morpeth and so we hope it will be progressed as quickly as possible.”