Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Multi-million pound plans to move Northumberland County Council headquarters quashed

Multi-million pound plans to uproot Northumberland County Council's headquarters from the Morpeth County Hall site to Ashington have been scrapped. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Multi-million pound plans to uproot Northumberland County Council's headquarters from the Morpeth County Hall site to Ashington have been scrapped.

The development has been quashed along with plans to build a retail park and 200 houses on the current Morpeth County Hall site.

Its follows the Home Group pulling out as developer of the housing scheme in April, but there was uncertainty as to the status of the application.

A spokesperson from Northumberland County Council has said:

Formal notification has been issued to the Planning Inspectorate that all three planning applications for the County Hall site have been withdrawn."

– Northumberland County Council

Building work has already begun on the site in Ashington where it was proposed the council's headquarters could move to.

It is not yet know what will come of the site, now the development will not go ahead.

The plans faced huge opposition from residents Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

In March 2017 the controversial plans for a retail park, 200 houses and a school on the County Hall site in Morpeth were called in by the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid.

In the same month, despite huge opposition, Northumberland County Council's planning committee voted to approve the applications.

The intervention from the Department for Communities and Local Government meant that the applications would have to go to a public inquiry.

Opposition groups including the South Morpeth Coalition residents' group and the Morpeth Chamber of Trade welcomed the news.

Speaking at the time, David Holden of the residents' group said:

The opinions of more than 1,700 residents have finally been listened to.

The resolutions passed at the planning committee were disgraceful and made a mockery of the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan, which was endorsed by nearly 4,000 residents last year with a 93% majority.

Retail and housing are not suitable uses for this site which is clear in the plan.

The principle of a new school is supported but the suggested location opposite a fast food drive thru is appalling.

A report advising against such a conflict from public health scientists at Cambridge University was completely ignored at the planning committee meeting.”

– David Holden