Morpeth Town Centre is covered by a conservation area which was designated in 1970, soon after the concept was introduced nationally. However, despite pledges and good intentions by local authorities, no supporting Conservation Area Appraisal was prepared. After this lack was highlighted in the 2016 Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan, Morpeth Town Council commissioned Land Use Consultants (LUC) in 2019 to produce an appraisal document, which was adopted in 2020.
The appraisal considers how both national and local events, communities and activities have shaped Morpeth, and how and where these influences are still to be seen in the built and natural environment of the town today. There is a requirement by legislation and national and local planning policies to preserve and enhance these special features, but this is not intended to discourage or prevent change, rather to inform and actively manage that change to conserve and strengthen those elements that contribute positively to the Morpeth’s character. It is intended that the appraisal should be used by developers seeking to reflect and maintain the unique character of the town, by planners and conservation officers to interpret to conservation area – and by the public, helping them put into words their feeling for the specialness of Morpeth.
The Conservation Area Appraisal (36.3 Mb PDF) can be downloaded here and also from the Town Council website. LUC have also produced a 440 page Gazetteer listing every building in the Conservation Area individually – but at 100 Mb (PDF), it is too big for this website. Please contact Morpeth Town Council (01670 514314) for sight of the Gazetteer.
Both the Neighbourhood Plan and the Appraisal itself recognise that the Conservation Area is very tightly drawn around the town centre. Morpeth Town Council have commissioned LUC to carry out a review of the boundaries of the Conservation Area in 2020-21. If you would like to be involved in the consultation processes of this review, please contact the Town Council.