You may already be aware that NCC have released 2 further documents for Consultation – both run from 11 November 2016 to 23 December 2016 .

NCC have previously stated that 1000 additional houses would ruin the character of Ponteland…..we are currently looking at over 3,500.  NCC continue to demonstrate a determination to ruin Ponteland.

PGBG and the majority of Ponteland residents realised more than 2 years ago that NCC are determined to ignore our views.

It is important that we all continue to respond to the Consultation documents; responses will be used as evidence that NCC have not listened to residents when the Core Strategy is finally examined by an independent Inspector.

NB – we are NOT against development. We welcome PROPORTIONATE development in Ponteland. The case for removal for vast amounts of Green Belt land around Ponteland is simply not made out.

The consultation documents are:

1. Core Strategy Pre-Submission Draft – Proposed Further Major Modification

This document includes ‘major modifications’ to the previous version of the Draft Core Strategy Document.

At  this stage we are restricted to  responding on the ‘Tests of Soundness’ that require the Core Strategy to be ‘Positively Prepared’, ‘Justified’, ‘Effective’ and consistent with national policy.

NCC have included proposals for ‘Dissington Village’ – 2000 houses on Green Belt land.

NCC have not undertaken any form of consultation with the residents of Ponteland on this significant development; we feel strongly that this is a way of introducing the proposal ‘through the back door’ of the Core Strategy.

Lugano have submitted an expression of interest to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) requesting that the ‘Dissington Village’ proposal receives Government approval. The DCLG decision is due to be announced around the 5th December – NCC have issued a statement stating that if DCLG do not approve the scheme they will push ahead with it through the Core Strategy. PGBG response will therefore be finalised following the DCLG announcement.

Group Representations

NCC are again requesting that group representations are made as a single representation – we need to include contact details of those that we are representing – we have been very successful in doing this previously. If you have already provided your details you do not need to do anything. If you have not previously authorised us to act on your behalf please email pontgreenbeltgroup@btconnect.com with your name and address authorising PGBG to represent you – please remember to include every member of your household.

2.  The South East Ponteland Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) (Revised draft, November 2016).

This is a redraft of the SPD submitted earlier this year by NCC which proposed that schools and leisure be located at Dobbies roundabout.

This latest SPD support Banks Group development of 400 houses on the Clickemin wedge (situated immediately as you enter Ponteland).

This proposal is in addition to significant development at Police Headquarters, proposals at Willow Way and ‘Dissington Garden Village’.

PGBG are currently reviewing the documents and will provide residents with our proposed response – we need to respond individually to this Consultation but we will support you in doing that.

Documents can be accessed at:




We have previously posted “ So who do you think you are kidding Mr Hepple”

We had said we were going to be hit with the potential for well over 2000 houses.

Cllr Hepple replied “The plan clearly shows the provision for 880 additional new homes – nowhere near the figure’s quoted by the local MP and the Green Belt Group.” 

How wrong we were – we now have:-

1026 – [880 proposed on Green Belt + 126 already built within the plan period + a significant number with permissions in various stages of progress]

2000 Dissington estate.

And now Banks group have returned with plans for 400 houses on the Clickermin Farm site

That’s 3426 houses with potential for more.

Remember all numbers quoted by NCC are MINIMUM requirement.


Dissington Estate Prince’s Foundation Workshop 11-26 Sept 2016

Invitations have been received by a number of Ponteland residents and representative groups to attend a workshop on the Dissington Estate proposal.

A number of these groups have met and have decided to decline the invitation. We have written to The Prince’s Foundation to explain our reasoning. Our joint letter can be found by clicking on the link below.


In short

Since May 2012, Ponteland has been subjected to 11 significant ‘consultations’ involving various developments proposed for our settlement.   A further Core Strategy Major Modifications Consultation has been scheduled by Northumberland County Council (NCC) this autumn.

The common theme running through all of these ‘consultations’ is that the views of Ponteland residents, who have engaged with the process and responded in such significant numbers, have been completely disregarded

We fear, from past experience, that a 95% opposition will be reported as if it were a ‘constructive meeting’ and referred to much later as part of a successful ‘consultation’; in the end the majority community view will be effectively ignored.

Given our experience and, as representatives of a significant number of residents, we cannot, regretfully, allow ourselves to once again be subjected to a futile consultation exercise.

NB We are NOT against development . We welcome proportionate  development in Ponteland.

NCC ‘s statements made during the Core Strategy consultations say

“Projected population change – as a guide, it has been considered than on average an acceptable increase in population for Main Towns is between 10% and 19%, 4% and 8% for Service Centres and around 4% in the rest of the County”

In correspondence NCC have stated;

We have maintained our position that, in acknowledgement of the need to accommodate proportionate growth in Ponteland over the plan period, an element of Green Belt deletion will be required

Ponteland residents are now faced with a minimum housing allocation of 1006 houses [880 proposed on Green Belt + 126 already built within the plan period – There are also a significant  number with approved planning permissions in progress.]

This represents a 37% population increase or put another way, a 94% + population increase over and above what NCC have previously stated is an acceptable increase for a Main Town.

It is very difficult to understand how this can be  regarded as “proportionate”

Shared facilities for Ponteland Leisure Centre proposal

As NCC current proposal for the sharing of the Leisure Centre facilities with the Ponteland schools has a direct impact on  Green Belt deletion in Ponteland the Ponteland Green Belt Group has responded to the proposals.

The response can be viewed here

PGBG Leisure response.

Ponteland Green Belt Group response to Major Modifications to Core Strategy Document.

Please find attached the PGBG submission to NCC re the Major modifications document.

We have had acknowledgement that it has been recieved

The responses in places are duplicated . This is because the  response has to address a particular modification area  and be sent in as a separate response.

We were  delighted to be able to  inform NCC that this response represents the views of over 1100 residents. Thank you.

We have no expectation that NCC will take any notice of the views of Ponteland residents. (At least they are consistent in that regard.)

We will continue to keep you informed

NCC Major Modifications _reply by PGBG

Core strategy -Major Modifications – Responding to NCC by 27 July 2016.


Comments on the major Modifications to the Core Strategy must be received at NCC  by 4pm on 27 July 2016.

If you complete the attached form ( Major Modifications Flyer) we can  submit a response on your behalf ( NCC require confirmation that we are able to represent you)

Comments can also be submitted by email and post and should be directed to:

  • Email: PlanningStrategy@northumberland.gov.uk; or
  • Post: Planning and Housing Policy Team, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2EF.
  • Online –  http://northumberland-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal/planning/core_strategy/csmm

Major Modifications Flyer

Dissington Estate “somewhere near Ponteland”

Ponteland Green Belt Group attended todays Cabinet Meeting at County Hall.

Grant Davey (Leader of the Council) introduced the Report saying that NCC had been contacted by The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and asked to submit an Expression of Interest for support in developing a proposal for a Garden Village. Councillor Davey said that he thought that the proposed site (Dissington Estate) was ‘somewhere near Ponteland’.

The Garden Village proposal is for 1800 homes – this is in addition to the housing numbers proposed for Ponteland within the Core Strategy (minimum 900 with potential for nearly 2000 houses).Councillor Peter Jackson and Councillor Reid objected to the proposal; the following is a summary of some of the points raised –

NCC were not directly contacted and asked to submit a proposal – a Government circular was sent to ALL Councils throughout the Country notifying them of the scheme.
The current proposal does not meet the clearly defined criteria for the scheme; DCLG state –

  • The garden village must be a new discrete settlement, and not an extension of an existing town or village.
  • It is important that new garden villages are built as a response to meeting housing needs locally.
  • In exchange for guaranteed housing delivery, we will work with you to identify and deliver planning freedoms to support housing growth including, for example, ensuring that there is greater ability to resist speculative residential planning applications, and to continue protecting the Green Belt
  • We welcome expressions of interest which make effective use of previously developed land (brownfield land) and/or public sector land.

NCC and Lugano Developments have identified the site (Dissington Estate); there are other more appropriate sites across Northumberland that fit the established criteria for this Government initiative.
The proposed scheme is very similar to the Birney Hill proposal (Village concept, Green Belt Development); NCC legally challenged this at great expense little over a year ago – rightly arguing against inappropriate development within Green Belt and no identified housing need.
Up to 12 Garden Villages/Towns/Cities will be progressed – If this NCC scheme is chosen, Grant Davey stated that the Government would have to understand that the current Core Strategy would be delayed yet further; NCC would need to incorporate further deletion of Ponteland Green Belt and to schedule yet further Consultation timeframes.
NCC have stated that they will progress this housing development even if they do not get DCLG scheme approval.

Interesting times ahead as we attempt to fully understand why NCC continue in their determination to destroy the special character of Ponteland.

Best wishes
Ponteland Green Belt Group

Dissington Garden Village

In the report to cabinet paper, NCC make reference to the fact that the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN ) for housing is a minimum figure
The NCC current Core Strategy population, housing and economic growth scenarios are already grossly overinflated (by a factor of over 100%) and are significantly flawed; this proposal is in addition to current overinflated numbers.

The proposed Dissington Estate development is at the Expression of Interest stage; it does not meet the Government Criteria for the development of Garden Villages and the vision to protect Green Belt.

In exchange for guaranteed housing delivery, we will work with you to identify and deliver planning freedoms to support housing growth including, for example, ensuring that there is greater ability to resist speculative residential planning applications, and to continue protecting the Green Belt.

The DCLG paper -Locally Led Garden Villages,Towns and Cities (March 2016) encourages expressions of interest which makes effective use of previously developed land ( brownfield land and /or public sector land. Dissington Estate is designated Green Belt.

Garden Villages must be new discrete settlements and not urban extension of an existing town or village;

The Dissington Estate site around West Houses Farm is immediately adjacent to Ponteland, it cannot be regarded as a “new discrete settlement.”

The recently rejected Lugano proposal for the Birney Hill site was also based on a Garden Village concept. NCC refused that application on the basis that it was an inappropriate development on the Green Belt . Why is this different?

Ponteland Garden Village Proposal

Lugano are working with NCC on submission to Government of an ‘Expression of Interest’
For the development of a Garden Village on the Dissington Estate. The proposal is suggesting an additional 1800 houses for Ponteland.

NCC press release – Garden Village

Localy led Garden Village – Cabinet Report