Plans for new homes on outskirts of Morpeth should be refused, council planners recommend

A proposal to build new housing at a site on the northern boundary of Morpeth is being recommended for refusal.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 11:00 am
Updated Friday, 10th September 2021, 2:16 pm
Planning application.

The application for the redevelopment of existing land and buildings and the erection of seven dwellings at land north of Katerdene, Fulbeck, is set to be determined by members of the county council’s Castle Morpeth Local Area Council on Monday.

Council planning officers have said that it should be turned down, stating in a report to councillors that it is an ‘inappropriate form of development in the open countryside and green belt’.

There are 48 letters of support by residents of Morpeth, other parts of Northumberland and elsewhere.

The planning report summarises them as saying the plans should be approved because ‘the re-use of the site will provide a high quality development, whilst improving the overall appearance’, and ‘the site is near to Morpeth and we believe it is a sustainable location’.

In addition, ‘this development would bring direct and indirect benefits, with additional jobs during construction and additional support for nearby services’.

Morpeth Town Council and CPRE Northumberland have objected.

The town council states that the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan Policy Set1, which refers to the settlement boundary of Morpeth, would be ‘severely compromised’ if the application is given the green light and ‘it will set a precedent that will be exploited by large scale developers’.

Referring to the site itself and their view on the bid, the planning officers’ report states: ‘The site is located approximately 450 feet north of the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan settlement boundary.

‘It is adjacent to the existing farmhouse known as ‘Katerdene’ and is bound by agricultural fields with a line of trees to the north. The site appears to comprise of three agricultural buildings, hard standing/gravel and greenfield land.

‘Although the resubmission of this application has sought to reduce the area of development, it is still viewed that it would have a greater impact on the openness of the green belt. There are also outstanding technical issues which form refusal reasons in relation to highway safety and lack of information relating to ecology and environmental health issues.’