Proposal for town-centre apartments put forward

The former Davidsons of Morpeth site.
The former Davidsons of Morpeth site.

Plans to build retirement flats in a prime town-centre location have been made official.

McCarthy and Stone’s submission to Northumberland County Council includes 55 new apartments and provision of communal facilities, landscaping and car parking on the former Davidsons of Morpeth site near Telford Bridge.

It believes it has addressed concerns raised during one-to-one meetings and a public exhibition, including that the development would increase congestion in Morpeth and flood risk in the area.

The flats would be a mix of one and two-bedroom and there would be 42 parking spaces in total.

The company’s planning statement says: ‘There is no doubt that a high-quality development will make an effective use of this site and respond to its townscape.

“Retirement living housing is acknowledged to be a passive use and an entirely sympathetic neighbour, with extremely low levels of traffic generation in comparison to other potential housing’.

Its design and access statement includes the following: ‘We have worked closely with LK Consult Ltd to determine the building levels and ensure residents are not at risk from potential flooding.

‘Additionally, site levels and precautions have been considered to alleviate the risk of flooding and surface water run-off from the impermeable areas of the site. Infiltration based sustainable drainage systems are proposed for the development, which will aid discharge to the river.

‘The design of the scheme has particularly drawn upon inspiration from the broken-up massing of the town centre to avoid the appearance of a monolithic block’.

McCarthy and Stone received 59 responses during the consultation period – 43 were fully supportive of such an application or supportive with comments and 11 objected to the proposed re-development.

A total of five people said they were unsure whether they supported it or not.

The site looked set to be filled by 60 apartments, a mix of two and three-storey buildings, when this scheme received planning permission in 2007.

Lend Lease took on the land and although it secured an extension to the planning time limit, it did not proceed with the development, citing the economic downturn.