Residents welcome change of heart

THE news that a supermarket giant has withdrawn its bid to remove delivery restriction conditions for its new Morpeth store has been welcomed by residents.

Morrisons had sought to make changes to two of the conditions attached to the 50,000 sq ft building when Dransfield Properties received planning permission in July 2011.

The Bradford-based company then took on the food store and before Christmas it applied to slightly amend the opening hours and remove the delivery constraints – they are not allowed before 7am or after 10pm Monday to Saturday and before 9am or after 10pm on Sundays and Easter Monday.

The latter greatly worried people living in Staithes Lane opposite the site. They have faced disruption during the construction of the supermarket and they wrote to the county council about the negative impact of servicing taking place at all times of the day.

Other Morpeth residents also objected in support of them and Morpeth Town Council put forward its concerns. Now Morrisons has revealed that it will not go ahead with the demand to have no delivery restrictions.

Staithes Lane resident Barry Lehane said: “We welcome this decision because if it had gone to the planning committee and been approved, it would have caused a lot of disruption to people’s day-to-day lives.

“We’re very grateful to the town council and the residents who supported us in our objections, particularly those who also wrote to the county council to make their feelings known.”

The town council’s Planning and Transport Committee Chairman Graeme Trotter said he was pleased that Morrisons had the common sense to withdraw the application.

“To request that deliveries can be made at any time of the day or night along a residential road was totally unreasonable,” he added.

l Continued on Page 2

A Morrisons spokesman said: “Usually, at this stage in the construction process, we review the planning consent and try, if possible, to secure opening and operating times to best suit the location, which can often lead to additional new jobs.

“However, after reflecting on the current application, we have decided to withdraw it and will be issuing a new application shortly for opening hours only.”