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.
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”