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.”