What else is going on in the North East, Durham County Council

As there are so many similarities between Northumberland and Durham’s proposed plans we decided to pass on this information for your viewing.

A brief summary follows on the INSPECTOR’S INTERIM VIEWS on the legal compliance and soundness of the submitted County Durham plan

To view the full report click here Durham Report

Released on Wednesday 18th February – this Inspectors interim report indicates that Durham County Council (DCC) Local Plan is unsound. DCC now has three options.

a) To continue the examination
b) To suspend it or
c) To withdraw the plan.

The Inspector has advised that it would not be in the best interests of plan making to recommend an unsound plan.
There are so many similarities between Northumberland and Durham’s proposed Plans; the findings are key to Ponteland residents and evidence that our concerns are justified!
Ponteland Green Belt Group has asked NCC for their initial response to this key DCC document due to the similarities of NCC Draft Core Strategy – we await their reply.
Key Points

  • Population and economic growth scenarios provided from Edge Analytics across both Plan areas.
  • Assessment of housing needs is too high…. the Council’s vision incorporates unrealistic assumptions about jobs growth and associated in-migration.
  • Following each stage of DCC Consultation following comments made by residents many changes were made to the Plan relating to both sites and policies – unlike NCC who have ignored residents’ concerns.
  • Unnecessary dwellings proposed for the Green Belt and a full review of non-Green Belt sources of supply should be undertaken.
  • Proposed relief roads are not justified.
  • The jobs target is very ambitious.
  • The employment statistics are an unacceptable risk and the housing potential is an overprovision.
  • No allowance has been made for bringing empty houses back into use, there is no allowance for small windfall sites and many brownfield areas of land have not been assessed.
  • The housing requirement should be reduced (suggests 29%)
  • Incursions into the Green Belt are directly contrary to national policy.
  • There is no need to release 3 large sites from the Green Belt.
  • Development of some sites would contribute to urban sprawl.
  • There are no exceptional circumstance which would justify release of 72.4 hectares of Green Belt land in Chester le Street.

Final Draft Core Strategy “Countdown”

Don’t forget:
All residents of a household (that includes children) have until the 11th Feb to respond to this NCC document.
View the front page below or Download a complete copy

Responses and comments can be delivered to:
By post to: Spatial Policy and Delivery Team, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 2EF
E-mail to: PlanningStrategy@northumberland.gov.uk
Hand deliver to: 93 Cheviot View or 17 Darras Road.

Greenbelt response to core strategy Jan 2015 Draft v 2 option 2_Page_1

Final Draft Core Strategy January 2015

Please get involved and respond to the Final Draft Core Strategy, all previous responses were for the previous documents not this Final Draft.

Every resident in Ponteland is eligible to respond, as seen below.
This is our last chance to make a difference.

Click here or on the first image to open and download the complete pdf file

Greenbelt response to core strategy Jan 2015 Draft v 2 option 2_Page_1


Greenbelt response to core strategy Jan 2015 Draft v 2 option 2_Page_2


Ponteland Greenbelt Group Important Update

Northumberland County Council (NCC) Core Strategy Final Draft for Housing, Employment and Greenbelt Consultation will be examined independently by The Planning Inspectorate to determine soundness of the development plan
We say, NCC are continuing to use flawed and out of date data and do not appear to have listened to the valid, evidence based concerns from the Ponteland residents
This is part of our last opportunity to register our concerns and NCC has had an unprecedented response to date from Ponteland
residents so far….4,300 responses

We need this to continue during the Final Consultation.
Remember, previous responses will not count against this new document

Read the full Text

The Current Position

Northumberland County Council has stated that they wish to build 850 houses in Ponteland. They intend to release Greenbelt land around Ponteland and Darras Hall to facilitate this.

Obviously we strongly disagree with this.
It is inappropriate and potentially damaging to our community.

Part of the rationale behind these figures is the use of population projections provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) from 2008. However, a new set of statistical data has become available from ONS dated 2012 (based on the 2011 Census) this suggests that NCC have over projected the number of required houses to meet the need in Northumberland over the next 20 years by approximately 200%!

Northumberland County Council are currently reviewing this new data but have not committed to any alterations to their plans as yet.

Clearly a discrepancy such as this, needs to be addressed urgently, before decisions are made and we lose Ponteland Greenbelt forever.

We would therefore encourage you to communicate your concerns over this issue to Northumberland County Council either:

By post: Spatial policy and Delivery Team

Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Northumberland   NE61  2EF

By email: PlanningStrategy@northumberland.gov.uk

Let Northumberland County Council know that you

  • Are aware of the publication of the ONS Population Projections 2012
  • Are aware that NCC has significantly over projected population growth over the next 20 years.
  • Inaccurate projections will result in inappropriate deletion of the Ponteland Greenbelt

Ponteland Has Its Say On The Northumberland Local Plan


Green Belt Committee MembersGreen Belt Committee members Tony Noble, Lesley Noble, Alma Dunigan, Steve Carss and Gaye Templeton gather on Coates Green in Ponteland with the responses to the County’s Core Strategy before delivering them to County Hall.

The members of the Green Belt Committee have spent many hours honing their response to the Core Strategy as proposed by Northumberland County Council. This has not been an easy exercise but the extraordinary skills and dedication of this committee have eventually produced a 25 page document which was delivered to the County Hall in Morpeth on 31st December.

The Committee wish to thank the hundreds of supporters who have worked hard for the group and supported them financially. All of this hard work paid off at the end of October when the Lugano application to build on land at Birney Hill was refused by both the planning officers and the councillors of the County Council. Now the Committee have gone on to the next step of examining the Core Strategy or County Plan for the next twenty years and looking in great detail at this opaque planning document. The Committee have a wealth of experience and brains and in close examination of the Core Strategy they have pulled the population figures to pieces, binned the projections for numbers of houses needed and generally put the planners’ proposals under the microscope. A phrase they have used more than once is ‘It regrettably brings into question the integrity of the process’. The document can be viewed from the website: pontelandgreenbelt.co.uk

Delivered at the same time were the hundreds of responses from the supporters of the Green Belt Group in Ponteland. Many more have been posted directly to County Hall and many have been done by email. It is expected that almost one thousand individual replies will land on the planners’ desk when they return from holidays. The deadline was the 2nd of January. And all this when most of us had other equally important people and events to attend to in December!!

The Committee once again give a big Thank You to their supporters. The marathon has not yet finished! What will 2014 bring?

Greenbelt is for more than Christmas

Greenbelt is for more than Christmas

Many thanks to the supporters who turned out yet again to deliver the information flyers to the residents of Ponteland, over 5,000 were distributed over this weekend.   Well done and thanks.

It is now up to all of us to respond to the Core Strategy document, use the information provided to create your own response to the County Council.

You have until the 2nd January 2014 and we appreciate that Christmas is nearly upon us but if we miss this opportunity to make our feelings known the housing numbers and other matters will be imposed on us.

This can’t be left until next year, we all have to act now.

Hand delivery to:  93 Cheviot View or 17 Darras Rd

Post to:      Spatial Policy and Delivery Team, Northumberland County  Council, County hall, Morpeth, Northumberland  NE61 2EF

E-mail to:   PlanningStrategy@northumberland.gov.uk

Let us show Northumberland County Council our strength in numbers and a legacy for the future beyond 2014.

Best Wishes from the Greenbelt Group