Public to have say on plans for town’s £30m bypass

Coun Simon Reed.
Coun Simon Reed.
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THE first of two events to gather public opinion on the latest proposals for the Morpeth northern bypass will be held next week.

The events will be an opportunity for people to look at the latest detailed plans, to ask questions and give their views on the £30m project.

They will be held in Morpeth Town Hall on Thursday, August 23, and on Tuesday, September 4, between 11am and 7.30pm.

During the consultation period, which runs from August 20 until September 17, Northumberland County Council will be meeting with residents and local organisations to discuss the plans and to ask for feedback on different aspects of the scheme.

These include the options for crossing the proposed bypass at Fulbeck Lane, the possible access routes for construction vehicles and the plans for screening the new road.

The plans will be available to view during the consultation period at Northumberland County Council headquarters at County Hall, Morpeth Library, Morpeth Town Hall and online at www.morpethnorthernbypass.org

The consultation is being held ahead of the council’s submission of an application to the Planning Inspectorate for a development consent order (DCO) in the autumn.

The council hopes this will be granted by the winter and the DCO would then grant all the necessary permissions for the proposed bypass, including planning, compulsory purchase orders and traffic orders.

Coun Simon Reed, executive member for infrastructure and environment, said: “We currently have a lot of work to prepare for the development consent order and as part of this it is vital that we consult with stakeholders and residents.

“This will allow us to discuss different aspects of the scheme in more detail and we will be asking for feedback on the different options for some parts of the development ahead of our submission in the autumn.

“I would urge anyone who has a view about the plans for the new bypass to attend one of the public meetings or contact the council.”

Following the consultation, the council will compile a report, with all the feedback and suggestions received during the consultation period.

It will also include any changes that are made to the design resulting from these comments and outline the reasons why some suggestions may not have been included.

The consultation report will be made available at County Hall, Morpeth Library and on the website.

Construction work would then begin on the bypass in spring 2014, with completion in winter 2015.

For more information, visit the website, call 0845 600 6400 or e-mail morpethnorthernbypass@northumberland.gov.uk