Residents urged to turn out for housing appeal

An appeal over plans to build almost 400 homes at Stobhill will begin next week.

Barratt David Wilson Homes and Tees Valley Housing want to build 396 properties on a field beside the A192 and A196.

Northumberland County Council voted against the plans, but the decision was not taken within the statutory time-frame.

On Tuesday, an independent planning inspector will open a public inquiry, expected to run over eight days. He will report to Secretary of State Eric Pickles to decide the outcome.

The appeal will be defended by the council and a Hepscott and Morpeth Together group will represent residents.

Concerns will be aired about development outside the settlement boundary, congestion, flood risk, sewage, school places and coalescence between Morpeth and Hepscott. Campaigners will also say that the emerging Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan shows preference for development north of the town.

Group member Joan Tebbutt said: “We have been working very hard to prepare all the evidence, but we are ready.

“We hope that the community will support us by turning up so the inspector will know that the people of Morpeth are with us.”

The hearing will be held at Morpeth Town Hall, running from 10am to 4pm, from Tuesday to Friday over the next two weeks.