North Morpeth Strategic Sewer project wins prestigious regional planning award

A collaborative scheme to provide a sustainable wastewater strategy that facilitates housing growth has won the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) North East Award for Planning Excellence.

The North Morpeth Strategic Sewer was one of only six entries short-listed for the North East’s top planning award.

The project was initiated by the unique opportunities present in Morpeth, including the construction of the Morpeth Northern Bypass and the timing of development proposals in the local area, together with the strong relationships that already existed between the organisations involved. The local community was a key influence in the development of the project concept, which provides a range of benefits to the wider Morpeth community into the future as plans for development materialise into additional dwellings in the town.

Working in partnership with Northumberland County Council, Taylor Wimpey North East, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Linden Homes, Persimmon Homes North East and the Homes and Communities Agency Northumbrian Water were able to deliver a strategic sewer to serve multiple development sites in an approach that meets the current and future needs of the town and its residents.

Richard Warneford, Wastewater Director for Northumbrian Water said: “The project is a great example of our collaborative approach to putting the needs of our customers and stakeholders at the heart of what we do. The recognition afforded by this award reflects the emphasis given by Central Government to aligning investment with infrastructure to support the delivery of new homes.

“This project demonstrates how important engagement in the planning process is for utility companies and we are thrilled that our industry-leading approach in this area has been acknowledged by the judges.”

Cllr John Riddle, Cabinet Member Responsible for Planning at Northumberland County Council said: "This is a great example of partnership working between the council and key stakeholders which has ensured that important infrastructure is provided ahead of planned development taking place. It represents the Council′s firm commitment to working collaboratively to ensure a strategic approach to infrastructure delivery."