Housing development prompts concerns

The Morwick Gardens development in Warkworth.
The Morwick Gardens development in Warkworth.
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Warkworth Parish Council has written to a housebuilder to highlight a string of complaints which have been raised by residents.

The group has received numerous concerns from locals about the state of the road at the site of Cussins’ Morwick Gardens development in the village.

Work is ongoing to build the properties along Morwick Road after the scheme for 37 homes, submitted by Northumberland Estates, was approved on appeal in 2014.

The parish council letter to Cussins highlights numerous concerns, including that construction at the site is leading to mud being left along Guilden Road to Greensfield Close.

There are also concerns regarding the lack of warning signs to alert motorists that there is mud on the road and safety worries about if the liquid mud freezes. Locals have also said that lorries are often having to queue on Morwick Road as they cannot pass within the site, causing danger for other drivers and pedestrians, and that many of the lorries coming off the site drive down the pavement because they’re too large to turn within the road.

Another complaint relates to lorries turning in Albion Close, with at least one having driven over the grass and churned it up. There are also concerns that vehicles are parking on pavements, forcing pedestrians, particularly those with prams and wheelchairs, to step out into traffic.

In the letter, the parish council also states that it is ‘very disappointed’ that original ‘inaccurate’ brochures for the development are still being passed to potential buyers.

It says that Couns John Hobrough and Sally Black had been assured that the brochure would be amended and the letter asks Cussins to ensure that the original brochures are withdrawn.

Responding to the letter, a Cussins spokesman said: “The early stages of a development, particularly the construction of roads and sewers, can result in increased disturbance. December 2015 was the wettest on record and this has resulted in some extremely difficult working conditions.

“In regard to mud on the road, I can confirm that the road is swept twice daily by a road-sweep and that an on-site wheel-washing facility is operational.

“There is sufficient parking provision for construction personnel within the site boundaries and all Cussins employees use this parking area. On occasion, third-party utility providers park outside the confines of the site and in close proximity to service runs.

“Construction requires regular material deliveries. To cater for this, a construction method statement has been prepared and approved by the local authority. I am not aware of any instances where any danger has been caused to road users by third party delivery drivers or Cussins site operatives.

“The first edition of the brochure excluded some detail which the parish council felt ought to be included, this exclusion was accidental. We amended and reprinted the brochure in December as requested, all potential purchasers are provided with the revised version.

“Prior to commencement we wrote to local residents to keep them informed of the timetable of works and to provide contact details for the site manager and construction director in the event that any issues arose.

“We also attended a parish council meeting to explain the same. It is important that we are made aware of any issues promptly so that we can assess and address any concerns.

“In this instance, the site manager has been made aware of the parish council’s concerns and will endeavour to ensure that all issues raised are addressed.”