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

Report on the Greenbelt Group AGM-last Friday 16th May

Thank you to those who attended the AGM last week.

From the responses we have received residents appreciated the amount of work the group members have been involved with over the past year and all the group members were unanimously reinstated as the “Management Group” allowing for some vacancies for co-opted members who can offer specific skills.

Currently, our concerns are that of the “Birney Hill appeal” and an Inquiry later this year. Looking forward, we are unaware if Banks will register a planning application during the coming months and we also need to watch out for any developments on this “Solar Farm” north of Prestwick village. This is not a planning application but what is called a screening report, this is a simple request to Northumberland County Council, at a preliminary stage.

However this will need watching.

Due to recent events and those to come, a request for funds was made to replace that money spent-there wasn’t much left in the Bank, donations were received on the night and a pledge to contribute to the depleted kitty have been gratefully received. Our Treasurer explained how donating through gift aid would allow the Greenbelt Group to keep all of the donations and an idea indorsed by the AGM of an annual contribution of £10 from supporters.

This would contribute to a future fighting fund.

We need your support to protect the Greenbelt around Ponteland.

Lugano Appeal Just Before the Deadline

Yesterday afternoon Lugano registered its appeal against the Northumberland County Councils decision for 280 houses at Birney Hill Farm.
Lugano had until the 30th April to take this action.
The appellant (Lugano) will have requested the nature of such an appeal, which could be a Public Inquiry or a Hearing. Whichever format is decided upon it is likely to be several months away.

We will update the website when we have further news.

The Lugano outline planning application, for Birney Hill has been “REJECTED”

Have you heard the news?
The Lugano outline planning application, for Birney Hill, 280 houses has been “REJECTED”
Last night, at Hexham Auction Mart, the West Area Planning Committee voted unanimously to reject this application and follow the case officer’s recommendation.

Can I take this opportunity in thanking all of you who have supported us over the past months.

As the Greenbelt group will continue to oppose development in the designated greenbelt area surrounding Ponteland, we now must look to replenishing our funds; any donations will be gratefully received.
All monies will be wisely spent.

Please donate to:- or use the donate tab above
National Westminster Bank
1 West Rd
Ponteland
Sort code 60-09-47
account number 81450109

Thank you from the Greenbelt Group

Notice from Ponteland Greenbelt Group

We as your local group have already registered our interest to speak at the NCC Planning Committee on the 30th October at Hexham.
Our team are putting together a verbal presentation for the public speaking slot to object to the outline planning application by Lugano at Birney Hill Farm for 280 houses.
This will be based on our formal objection to this application submitted earlier this year. If you would like to pass on your ideas to us we would be grateful to represent the wider community.
Please use the contact facility on this website. Thank you

Public Meeting 9th October 2013

Ponteland Green Belt Public Meeting 9th OctoberA high attendance of residents concerned on the issues of the Green Belt and the recent release of an Northumberland County Council consultation document.

On Wednesday evening 9th October approx 550 residents filed into the Hall at Ponteland High School for the public meeting on the Lugano outline planning application for Birney Hill Farm.

Ponteland Green Belt Public The first 350 were able to sit in the hall the remaining 200 stood from 6pm, when the meeting started, until 8.30pm, when it finished.

Peter Jackson, leader of the Conservative party Northumberland, was the first speaker. He stated that this application would open the flood gates to building on the Ponteland Green Belt and would be the beginning of the end of Ponteland and Darras Hall as we know it. The audience was reminded that Lugano had already purchased 2,500 acres and were also acting on behalf of other land owners in the area interested in development. Cll Jackson received an overwhelming applause for his contribution.

Ponteland Green Belt Public The access to the Northumberland Local Plan, Core Strategy on Housing, Employment and the Green Belt Preferred Options Document was of major concern of the attendees, they were suspicious of the timing of its release and its content. Many of the questions from the floor were geared to the planners to answer on this topic.

Whilst other residents focused their concerns on the outline planning application at Birney Hill with questions on potential flooding and surface water drainage issues in the area and the likely impact they would have on surrounding lower ground levels, particularly in the adjacent Edgehill, Darras Hall.

The Environment Agency dismissed Luganos proposed drainage system as inadequate and Northumberland Water advised that Eland Lane pumping station was at full capacity.
Newcastle Airport reserved comment until they had considered a recently received report.
Traffic and car parking issues were dismissed by the Highways Dept, they did not think there was a need for extra car parking spaces despite the fact that parts of Ponteland are grid locked twice a day during the school run.

The Community Land Trust document has been sent to NCC, but as yet has not been agreed. Lugano are in discussions with 3 different companies and intend to pass over the entire responsibility to the Trust. No answer was given to how this would operate or the likely charges, responsibilities and liabilities this would bring to the Birney Hill residents.
The indication of the affordable housing provision was, that they were not affordable due to the high prices of the area and there was nothing in place to control the prices and status when the ownership was passed on.

To conclude, I don’t think anybody was convinced