Planning Application 18/03394/REM – Land West of Lancaster Park, Pinewood Drive, Lancaster Park, Morpeth

Please find below the comments submitted by Morpeth Town Council to planning application 18/03394/REM, Land West of Lancaster Park, Pinewood Drive, Lancaster Park, Morpeth.  Comments were agreed at the Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee Meeting on Wednesday 17th October 2018.

Morpeth Town Council strongly object to this application as it represents a serious departure from the proposals granted outline approval by Northumberland County Council.

The proposed development offers less in every respect than the proposals put forward for Outline Permission.

  • Two thirds of the number of bedrooms in the hotel;
  • Less than half of the consented floor space of Use Class A3;
  • Less floor space of Use Class A1;
  • Basic office space as opposed to the “Innovation Centre for the research and development sector”;
  • Designs do not meet the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan Des1 policy criteria;
  • A significant reduction in the overall number of jobs to be created.

The Officer’s report which supported the Outline application placed a very significant weight on the economic benefits of the proposal.  To quote:

“ Having considered the benefits of the proposals in terms of affordable housing provision, job creation, both in the short and longer term, including provision of an Innovation Centre for the research and development sector, it is considered that the economic benefits of the proposals justify a departure from local planning policies, including policies contained within the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan.”

Without such perceived benefits it is clear that permission would not have been granted.  As such, Morpeth Town Council strongly suggest that this application should be refused on the grounds listed above.

We also note and fully support the objections lodged by the Environment Agency and Lead Local Flood Authority.