People power makes a difference

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GROUPS of Morpeth residents were able to celebrate after the county council’s north area planning committee meeting last Thursday.

Hundreds of people living near the planned McCarthy and Stone retirement flats off Cottingwood Lane made a number of strong arguments against putting such a development on that site.

In particular, the narrow blind bend caused by the height of the wall by the proposed entrance appeared to be an accident waiting to happen.

And its elderly residents would have quite a trek home from the shops, especially in the winter.

It was a narrow vote to reject the application and the strength of feeling from the community could well have played a part.

There was also plenty of opposition to a bid for a large property at the entrance to Dene View, off the A192.

The residents of nearby Pottery Bank Court, who described the design as a ‘hideous carbuncle’ that was totally out of character with the rest of the housing in that area, collected an impressive 200 signatures for their petition.

And their clear arguments won favour with the committee, as members voted to turn down the application by a margin of five.

There may be appeals or re-submissions to come, but last Thursday reminded us that people power can make a difference.