Clickemin Farm & Birney Hill Greenbelt Updates

As you are aware Northumberland County Council (NCC) Core Strategy suggests building around 850 new houses in Ponteland requiring large scale development.

NCC has already identified the area around Clickemin Farm on both sides of Cheviot View/Ridgley Drive area as their preferred location. This is Green Belt land. This area of Green Belt along with the Birney Hill site provides the separation between the boundary of Newcastle and Northumberland.

NCC are re-assessing their plan based on the most recent Office for National Statistics(ONS)population projections, recent evidence suggest that NCC have overestimated their population projections by over two thirds. The overwhelming view of Ponteland residents is consistent-we have no desire to see unnecessary erosion of the Green Belt.

We remain concerned that even in the face of significant data suggesting NCC projections are grossly exaggerated, NCC will continue to press ahead using this flawed data and impose on Ponteland a vastly disproportionate allocation of housing.

This concern has been highlighted by the fact that both the Clickemin site and the Birney Hill sites are currently undergoing geological surveys.

Comments from the surveyors carrying out the work at Clickemin, and discussion with Banks Developers, has confirmed that this survey is being conducted to support NCC projected housing need; Banks Developers have confirmed that the report will feed into the next draft NCC Core Strategy-due out in November.

It would appear that NCC is determined to continue with their plans to destroy the character of Ponteland by imposing large housing schemes on the Green Belt.

Please find below a link to a Government announcement concerning Eric Pickles MP introducing new National Guidance for local planning officers giving greater protection to the Green Belt. This new guidance was issued on the 6th October 2014.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/councils-must-protect-our-precious-green-belt-land

NCC is close to releasing the Core Strategy for final consultation. We need to ensure that NCC have taken into consideration-

  • Revised ONS population projections and
  • This recently issued national guidance issued from Government.

We would encourage you to contact NCC on the email address below-we all need to ask NCC to confirm that they intend to take into account latest Government guidance and review the release of Ponteland Green Belt land.

The email should be sent to PlanningStrategy@northumberland.gov.uk
Once again your support could prove invaluable to the ongoing campaign to protect Ponteland.

Thank you for taking the time to care.
Ponteland Green Belt Group