Northumberland County Council makes urgent support call over landslip road near Morpeth

Northumberland County Council is calling on the Environment Agency to provide urgent support in dealing with a landslip near Morpeth.
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The B6343 Mitford Road has been under three-way traffic light control for over six months due to the failure of the River Wansbeck embankment, which supports the road.

Council leader Glen Sanderson said: “These lights are causing significant delays to residents and businesses, as well as ongoing costs to the council.

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“As things stand, to progress with the necessary repairs we need to go through the Environment Agency’s environmental permitting process twice – once for a permit for the ground investigation, followed by a permit for the main works.

Council leader Glen Sanderson at the area currently under traffic light control.Council leader Glen Sanderson at the area currently under traffic light control.
Council leader Glen Sanderson at the area currently under traffic light control.

“This is due to the works being within close proximity to the River Wansbeck, so there is a need to ensure the works are undertaken in a way which safeguards the environment and doesn’t pose any risks to the flood protection scheme for Morpeth.

“Speedy turnaround of the ‘permitting’ process by the Agency (which is an executive non-departmental public body whose responsibilities include water quality and resources) would help us as to get on with the works, allowing the road to be re-opened before the autumn, something we all wish to see.

“I’ve now written to the Environment Agency seeking their support on this so that we can get on with completing these complex engineering works in the best interests of all residents and businesses.”

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In response, flood risk manager for the Environment Agency in the North East Simon Wilson, said: “The Environment Agency is responsible for issuing permits to carry out works that may affect flood risk on main rivers, as per the legislation.

“The planned Northumberland County Council works for Mitford Road are next to the River Wansbeck and will need to be assessed to ensure the works do not increase flood risk in the area.

“Our teams are in discussions with Northumberland County Council, but have not yet received a permit application. We appreciate the benefits and urgency of the required work and will liaise closely with the council to process any application as soon as possible.”