1. ITV Report

Morpeth traders: Northumberland County Council refuses to listen

Plans for a new retail park & 200 houses have been met with 1,500 individual letters of objection. Photo: Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade

Members of the Morpeth Chamber of Trade have criticised Northumberland County Council's decision not to send a representative to a planned march on Friday.

The Chamber of Trade says hundreds of marchers will head to County Hall in the town to protest against the proposals for a retail park and 200 houses on the outskirts of Morpeth.

The march will leave from the market place at noon with people asked to arrive at 11.45am. The plans have been met with 1,500 individual letters of objection.

The Council not making someone available to meet the march is yet another lack of respect shown to Morpeth residents and businesses. "We have a Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan in place that was backed by 93.4% of residents in 2016 with retail and housing clearly stated as not suitable uses for this site.

"We intended to present a copy of the plan to the Leader but were told that he was not available and neither was any one else. What sort of democracy are we living in when the Council refuses to listen and continues to pursue proposals which have been overwhelmingly opposed and are contrary to planning policy?"

– Jacky Beesley, chair of Morpeth Chamber of Trade
County Hall in Morpeth Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

We are aware of the planned march. As we have previously said, all comments made in response to the planning applications will be taken into account by the Strategic Planning Committee in due course.

"The applications will be considered against all relevant national and local planning policies, including the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan and saved policies of the Castle Morpeth Local Plan."

– Spokesperson, Northumberland County Council