More homes planned for major Morpeth housing site

The proposed housing site between St Georges Hospital and Howburn Wood. Picture from Google
The proposed housing site between St Georges Hospital and Howburn Wood. Picture from Google

Plans have been lodged for another 50 homes in an area of Morpeth where 1,250 have already been given the green light.

An outline application for land at St George’s Hospital, by Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, has been submitted to Northumberland County Council.

The proposed site is to the north of the current St George’s Hospital, the Trust’s purpose-built mental-health hospital, and to the east of the housing masterplan on the wider grounds of the former Victorian hospital.

Following the closure of the original hospital in 1995, development on the site to the north of the town had long been expected and plans were first unveiled in 2013.

Linden Homes, the housing division of Galliford Try, was selected by site owner the Homes and Communities Agency to deliver the first stage.

A hybrid application for up to 375 properties, seeking full planning permission for 119 homes and outline approval for a further 115 and 141 homes over two phases, was given the go-ahead in March 2015.

The following December saw outline approval granted for up to 875 dwellings, to be built in four phases over 15 years, for the remainder of the former St George’s Hospital site, alongside a local centre of shops and a pub/restaurant.

Detailed plans for a link road and a junction to the Morpeth Northern Bypass were also approved and this will be the only access to the site – there will be no through route to Cottingwood Lane, apart from for buses.

The latest application, however, would be accessed from the south via the existing road serving the new hospital.

A design and access statement submitted with the application says that the development proposes to use ‘shared-surface streets’, with an even, single surface of one material across the full width of the street.

There would be a minimum or one parking space per home, but ‘in general terms’, three-bedroom properties will have two spaces, with three for four-bedroom homes and four for the five-bedroom houses, including garages.

The existing public right of way across the site would be ‘realigned to form a central spine route at the heart of the scheme’.

This would be ‘offset from vehicular surfaces by a green verge interlinking areas of amenity space’ and would connect Howburn Wood with the wider area of housing development.

Elsewhere, the document explains that ‘a key design driver has been to create an attractive development set within a strong landscape setting by maintaining existing landscape features’, which includes the off-set of the scheme from Howburn Wood.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service