£1.7million funding approved for new car park in centre of Morpeth

Councillors have signed off on £1.7million for a new car park in the centre of Morpeth.

By Ben O'Connell
Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 5:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 5:46 pm
A study found more car parking was needed in Morpeth
A study found more car parking was needed in Morpeth

The town centre location became available after the long-awaited new £6million first school near County Hall at Loansdean opened in September 2019 to replace the 108-year-old Goosehill buildings.

A planning application for a total of 142 spaces, including eight disabled bays and six electric vehicle charging spaces, was submitted in November 2019, but is still awaiting a decision.

However, the demolition of the old school buildings has now been completed.

At the Tuesday, February 9, meeting of Northumberland County Council’s decision-making cabinet, members signed off on £1.7million from the £10.4million parking improvements pot to enable the construction work to take place.

The report to councillors explained that the site has a number of constraints which make the project relatively complex and therefore expensive.

These include existing site levels that are fixed on all four sides, a disused culvert running through the site, new access from Goose Hill requiring the lowering of BT and Northern Powergrid apparatus, the need for a new drainage system, and ‘very poor existing ground conditions’.

However, it adds that there are no acquisition costs as the council owns the land and that there are ‘no alternative sites currently available within or close to the town centre, which means this is a one-off opportunity to provide much-needed additional car parking capacity for the town’.

An independent parking study, commissioned by the county council and carried out in 2017, concluded that a minimum increase of 150 spaces was recommended in Morpeth ‘in order to bring current occupancy levels down to an acceptable level’.

The dramatic events we are all experiencing are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper. If you can, please do pick up a copy when you are at the shops. Thank you for your support.