Ponteland MP Guy Opperman says,

Plans to remove around 300 acres of land from the local greenbelt is “a nightmare come true.”
The proposals are part of the Council’s controversial local plan and sees 200 acres of formally greenbelt land set aside for employment and housing use with a further 100 acres set “safeguarded” for further use after the 20 year life of the current plan. Mr Opperman said “After all of our campaigning and hard work local residents will be horrified by what the Labour Council is now proposing.
This is an attack on the very character of Ponteland and Darras Hall. The Council has earmarked just over 600 homes in total for our area over the next 20 years so I am at a loss to understand why they are planning to remove so much land from the greenbelt. The amount of the land they want to strip out from the greenbelt is enough for 5000 new houses.
“It is now a truly terrifying prospect.” The MP said greenbelt campaigners had won some victories. Mr Opperman said “It is positive news we have been able to reduce the number of houses from over 800 to now just over 600. It is also a good thing none of the land held by Lugano is being released from the greenbelt, including the proposed Birney Hill development. However for the Labour run County Council to try and release so much land from the greenbelt around Ponteland is a real blow to our community. The sacrifice of so much protected greenbelt land is nothing short of a manifestation of failure. The Council’s Local Plan as it stands is defective and will not deliver. We will have to live with the decisions made by the Council long after the current Labour leadership leaves power. Our campaign to protect the greenbelt around Ponteland and Darras Hall will not end; we will now only re-double our efforts.”

FINAL DRAFT CORE STRATEGY DOCUMENTS-Now on view

Northumberland County Council
FINAL DRAFT CORE STRATEGY DOCUMENTS (link to follow)
The Greenbelt Group are in the process of reviewing these documents

Our major concerns to date are:
  • Reduced housing numbers with increased greenbelt deletion!
  • The Consultation process ( Stage 1 & 2) did not include consultation on release of Greenbelt land for schools/leisure/open space (We already have land allocated for this…. and have open space for this)
  • NCC “SAY” that land, could be used for schools? and could be used for leisure?
  • Once Greenbelt land is released it will be an easy option to apply for a change of use to support the real intention of releasing land for housing
Community Consultation starting in December
More information to follow

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

NEWS ALERT!

A fresh application has been submitted to NCC for:
Medwyn Street Houses Ponteland

Demolition of 2 semi-detached dwellings and construction of two storey, 14 bed hotel with car parking areas and access roads.

Please view NCC website for details
Application details 14/01599/FUL

The Ponteland Greenbelt Group will be reviewing this application as we believe that part of the site could be greenbelt.

The closing date for comments is the 7th September

Greenbelt Supporters dine out in style & raise £1,710

Greenbelt supporters held their first event that incorporated fundraising with a social theme when they experienced real fine dining “Indian Style” at Haveli’s, on the 10th July. All started with a champagne cocktail followed by a four course meal, a generous raffle and a good will message from Guy Opperman at the House of Commons.

One of the talented supporters made us a novelty prize for the raffle; it was a clock using the principle of the “Say No boards” as the dial face, which by request, was auctioned on the night instead.

Greenbelt Clock (1) (800x600)

Quotes from the committee

A huge thank you to everyone for making this possible

This event proved to be a fantastic evening, enjoyed by all, food and service unbelievable. With the generosity of Haveli’s, local businesses, donations and our supporters we raised the outstanding amount of £1,710

We may have had a secret target figure before the night-but we blew that away.

It was so nice to meet the supporters after previously communicating by email.

All Invited to Greenbelt Group AGM

In summer 2012 Ponteland residents were hit by proposals from two developers to build substantial numbers of houses on the Green Belt.

Lugano wanted to build 280 houses on the southern boundary of Darras Hall and Banks proposed up to 500 houses behind Ridgely Drive and Cheviot View.

These unwanted proposals stimulated activists and concerned residents to organise opposition and the Ponteland Greenbelt Group was formed.

Ponteland is a unique, well-defined settlement and an aspirational place to live for many who work on Tyneside, and we have a stake in looking after this special environment. The Green Belt was formed to prevent creeping urbanisation and we do not want it trashed by developers who want to make a big profit.

Members of the group prepared detailed and comprehensive objections and both the planners and the councillors at County Hall voted to refuse Lugano’s plans in October 2013. They have until the end of April to submit an appeal to the Inspectorate. Banks have not yet submitted a planning application to Northumberland County Council.

Committee members give their time and talents freely but there are costs for printing, advertising, legal advice etc, and we depend on supporters for financial help and their commitment to the cause.

The Greenbelt Group looks forward to our first AGM, where residents will be given an update on events and the opportunity to put your questions to group members.

Three members of the existing group are standing down, creating three vacancies. Anyone wishing to be nominated for one of these vacancies should contact us via the website contact page

Ponteland residents have been very supportive and we need all the help you can give in many different ways.

All supporters and interested persons are invited to the AGM
7.30 pm Friday 16 May at Ponteland Memorial Hall.

An update and a few facts on the Police HQ site

  • Some residents close to the site have received a leaflet drop
  • According to the press this site is to be sold
  • As we know to date this area has been given outline planning approval for 150 houses.
  • Discussions have taken place between NCC planners and the agents representing the interests of the Police for a fresh outline application for approx 250 houses.
  • This site is designated as “previously developed site in the Greenbelt” this makes it a slightly different category to Greenbelt.
  • Next Tuesday at Merton Hall between 2pm-8pm residents are invited to view the proposed application.

We would like to reassure you of our ongoing campaign to protect the Greenbelt and the Ponteland Greenbelt Group will study and scrutinise the new application when it is submitted to Northumberland County Council, but we would ask you to read on:

Did you know?
This site has had several uses since it was purchased in the early 1900’s

Did you know?
The Poor Law Guardians of Newcastle upon Tyne bought 70 acres from Smallburn Farm on which they built accommodation for children from the workhouse in Newcastle. They opened in November 1903 and reached 320 children by 1913, where they were educated, trained and lived in houses with a house mother.

Did you know?
The Cottage Homes closed in 1960 and several of these houses are listed buildings along with the Superintendants house and workshops.

Did you know?
For those who are old enough to remember, it was Northumberland Teacher Training College, which accommodated over 400 students and staff. All of those buildings, including halls of residence, still exist today and have been fully utilised by their present owners.
Because this site has served a number of uses over time, this is what makes the site a “previously developed site in the Greenbelt” and we hope you find this information, put together by our group, beneficial. This is part of an ongoing situation and to learn more, we remind you of the

Community Consultation on Tuesday 18th February at Merton Hall 2pm-8pm