Decision on A1 link road postponed

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A decision about the completion of the last part of a major link road around Morpeth has been deferred.

Plans for the Pegswood bypass extension, to link the A1 with south east Northumberland, went before county councillors last week.

Planning committee members agreed to visit the site before making a decision on the scheme, reaffirmed recently as the authority’s top transport priority.

The two-and-a-half-mile route would cross mainly farmland from the A197 at Whorral Bank to the A1 south of Fairmoor.

It would pass close to houses in several places, including West Lane End Farm, East Lane End Farm and East Shield Farm.

Drivers would reach the A1 via a roundabout with an underpass and slip roads north west of Lancaster Park, and there would be two separate roundabouts, at the A192 junction at Lane End and north west of St George’s Hospital.

There would also be a livestock underpass at West Lane End Farm, corrugated steel arch bridges at Cotting Burn and at How Burn and another bridge at Fulbeck Lane.

One public footpath would cross the bypass and another would be diverted to the underpass at St Leonard’s Lane.

It is proposed that construction of the road begin in February 2014 with a view to completion by October 2015.

The first part of the route was the Pegswood bypass, opened four years ago.

Planning officer Sue Birnie told councillors: “The main issues are likely to be compliance with national guidance and development plan policy, the principle of the development and impact on the landscape, cultural and archaeological heritage, local communities, ecology, rights of way, transport considerations and residential amenity.”