Press release

Morpeth Northern Bypass given development consent

Today, 12 January 2015, the Morpeth Northern Bypass scheme has been granted development consent by the Secretary of State for Transport.

Motorway intersection

The scheme is for construction of a single carriageway 3.8km long extending from Whorral Bank on the A197, to the north east of Morpeth, westward to the A1 trunk road and to include a separate cycleway/footway. A new at-grade roundabout is to be created at the intersection of the bypass with the existing A192 at Lane End. A new standard grade separated junction with slip roads and a dumbbell roundabout arrangement, to provide ‘all movements’ access to the A1 trunk road and a link to St. Leonard’s Lane.

The decision announced today follows an examination process by the Planning Inspectorate, which was completed within the statutory timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008 (as amended by the Localism Act 2011).

The application was submitted by Northumberland County Council for consideration on 15 July 2013 and was accepted for examination on 7 August 2013.

Following the examination, where interested parties were given the opportunity to give evidence to the Examining Authority, a recommendation was made to the Secretary of State for Transport on 14 October 2014.

The Planning Inspectorate’s Chief Executive, Simon Ridley, said:

“The examination of the application was completed within the timescales prescribed in the Planning Act and a recommendation made to the Secretary of State for Transport. Today’s decision supports that recommendation.”

“The Planning Inspectorate has the responsibility to examine Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) within timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008. This provides developers and investors with the confidence to build and improve the infrastructure this country needs to secure future economic growth. This is the 11th transport NSIP to be given consent and the 5th road scheme.”

“A major priority for us over the course of the examination was to ensure that communities who might be affected by this proposal had the opportunity to put forward their views. As always, the Examining Authority gave careful consideration to these before reaching its conclusion.”

Documentation, including the decision, the recommendation made to the Secretary of State and the evidence considered by the Examining Authority in reaching its decision, is publicly available on the National Infrastructure Planning website.


Journalists wanting further information should contact the Planning Inspectorate Press Office, on: 0303 444 5004 or 0303 444 5005 or email:

Notes to editors:

  • From April 2012, the relevant Secretary of State became the decision maker on all national infrastructure applications for development consent. At the end of the examination of an application, which will still be completed within a maximum of six months, the Planning Inspectorate will have three months to make a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State who will then have a further three months to reach their decision.

  • The Planning Inspectorate, National Infrastructure Programme of Projects details the proposals which are anticipated to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate as applications in the coming months.

Published 13 January 2015