Milestone reached in bypass scheme

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An important milestone has been reached in the scheme to build a bypass north of Morpeth.

The Planning Inspectorate has announced that the draft Development Consent Order (DCO), submitted by Northumberland County Council last month, has been accepted for examination by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

It will be examined over the next 15 months before the Secretary of State gives his decision on the scheme in the autumn of 2014. If granted, construction could begin on the bypass in spring 2015, with the scheme completed by autumn 2016.

Coun Scott Dickinson, the county council’s business chairman, said: “This is a key milestone in building this much-needed and awaited bypass, providing a key link between the A1 and Ashington, reducing through traffic in Morpeth and creating development opportunities to the north of Morpeth.

“The £30million project will also create jobs and training opportunities for people of Northumberland and provide opportunities for local suppliers during the construction phase.

“The Department for Transport will fund £21million of the costs and the remainder will come from the council’s own sources. So all in all it is good news for Northumberland and we are looking forward to a positive response from the Secretary of State in 15 months’ time.”