Neighbourhood Plan Town Signs


  • essentially rural setting of our historic market town and villages
  • wide range of heritage assets
  • green, open aspects of all approaches to the town
  • character of the river upstream, through the town and downstream of Morpeth
  • Carlisle Park, especially the way it combines well tended and wooded areas
  • woodland embedded within the town and well established street trees
  • open green spaces
  • wildlife corridors
  • panoramic views – landscapes, townscapes and treescapes


By 2031, Morpeth will be recognised as a historic market town, based in a rural setting with a vibrant town centre.  It will have harnessed its growth potential, whilst retaining its strong local identity and distinctiveness.

Pegswood will be a more sustainable settlement with a strong sense of identity.  The four settlements, Hebron, Hepscott, Mitford and Pegswood will continue to look to Morpeth as a local service centre but retain their distinct characters and separateness from the town.

Plan Objectives

Plan Objective 1 – Historic Market Town Character (PO1)
Develop Morpeth’s strong sense of place, community, local identify, integrity and its character as an historic market town and its rural setting including the green approaches.

Plan Objective 2 – Rural Service Centre (PO2)
Strengthen Morpeth’s role and competitiveness as a rural sevice centre, with a strong retail sector and a broad mix of local and visitor attractions.

Plan Objective 3 – Accommodating Growth (PO3)
Accommodate growth and support new economic activity and economic diversification in a sustainable manner.

Plan Objective 4 – Developing Pegswood (PO4)
Develop Pegswood as a more sustainable settlement.

Plan Objective 5 – Character of the Villages (PO5)
Retain the existing characters and village identities of Hebron, Hepscott and Mitford.

Plan Objective 6 – Reducing Flood Risk (PO6)
Reduce flood risk, to people and property, from all sources across the whole plan area.

Plan Objective 7 – Community Wellbeing (PO7)
Address the challenges of an aging population, foster a sense of community and promote wellbeing.

Plan Objective 8 – Heritage Assets (PO8)
Protect and enhance the natural environment and heritage assets of the Plan area.

Plan Objective 9 – Connectivity (PO9)
Improve connectivity within Morpeth, with its adjoining communities and the wider region.

Sustainable Development

The MNP acknowledges that the presumption in favour of sustainable development underpins the planning system.  The Plan aims to plan sustainably  by:

  • Reinforcing Morpeth’s role as a rural service centre, through new housing and employment, while protecting the character of the town and its rural setting
  • Growing Pegswood village through the redevelopment of brownfield sites, new housing development and support for more employment land
  • Allowing limited infill development in character with the settlements of Hebron, Hepscott and Mitford to protect their attractive characters and identities as small rural villages, and
  • Restricting development in the open countryside

There is a need for a policy to set out how sustainable development will be supported across the Plan area.

Policy Sus1 – Sustainable Development Principles

Proposals for new development will be supported at a scale and in locations that accord with policies contained elsewhere in the Neighbourhood Plan where they support the continued sustainablitiy and viability of communities in the Plan area by providing:

  • New homes, including affordable, self-build and local needs housing, to meet the objectively assessed housing needs established in the development plan
  • New and expanded business premises
  • Tourist related development and tourist accommodation, or
  • Infrastructure associated with leisure, recreational pursuits and social, community, business and educational activities throughout the Plan area
  • A presumption in favour of sustainable development will be exercised across the Pla area.  Proposals will be expected to conform to the following development principles by demonstrating that they:
  • Contribute to the sustainability of settlements and their communities
  • Can be accommodated within settlement boundaries defined in the Neighbourhood Plan other than in exceptional circumstances defined in  Policy Set1
  • Contribute to maintaining the market town and village character of  Morpeth, Pegswood, Hebron, Hepscott and Mitford respectively
  • Have regard to the need to make efficient use of land by prioritising the reuse of previously developed land
  • Follow the principles of good quality design which respects the character and appearance of their setting and the surrounding area, and
  • Can provide the physical and community infrastructure on site where it is necessary to make the development acceptable, or mitigate the impact of the development by measures implemented off-site either through direct provision or by way of financial contribution