Planning applications before Strategy Planning committee 15 March 2017

You may already be aware that all three major outline-planning applications are being considered at the Strategic Planning Committee on Wednesday 15 March.

All three applications are recommended for approval by NCC Planning Officers.

Notifications have been posted adjacent to the three sites and many residents have received notification by post.

THE INFORMATION PROVIDED WITHIN THE NOTIFICATIONS IS INCORRECT – The meeting starts at 1pm and not 2pm as stated in NCC Notification !  

 Ponteland Green Belt Group fully expect the Committee to agree the recommendation and say that ‘they are minded to grant approval’

Do not be surprised at this pre determined outcome  – ( there will no doubt be some  attempt to make it look  anything other than  a decision already made some time ago  behind closed doors )

What will happen next? The outline applications are all on Green Belt land and NCC have an obligation to refer the application, and their recommendations, to the Secretary of State  (via the National Planning Casework Unit )  for review.

Ponteland Green Belt Group, Ponteland Town Council, Ponteland Civic Society, Ponteland Community Partnership and our County Councillors have already requested that all 3 applications  are “called in” by the Secretary of State

Our proactive approach has the full support of Guy Opperman MP. Ponteland Green Belt group have had it confirmed  that the National Planning Casework Unit have the applications on their radar and are monitoring the situation.

We are hopeful that the Secretary of State will ‘call in’ the applications.  We feel very strongly that the applications, and the impact of them, should be considered cumulatively – the applications should not be considered in isolation.

Our case for seeking the Secretary of State intervention and “call in” the applications is based on the fact that it is National Planning Policy that Green belt should only be released in exceptional circumstances and in any case must be done through the Core Strategy process. The applications are therefore premature

Prior to the Strategic Planning Meeting the Committee will undertake a site visit. This is scheduled for Monday 13th March; the Committee is expected to arrive at Ponteland Leisure Centre at 2.15pm and will then visit the other 2 proposed sites (behind Cheviot View and the Dissington Estate.

Residents have been consistent in their objections to the excessive housing numbers allocated to Ponteland; we will use this as evidence when applications and NCC decisions are independently reviewed – either as part of the Core Strategy inspection or as part of the Secretary of State ‘call in process’.

What can you do?

  • Attend the site visit (2pm Monday 13th March at Ponteland Leisure Centre). 

We expect press presence and this is an opportunity to demonstrate that Ponteland  residents are consistent in their continued objection

  • Attend the Strategic Planning Committee Meeting ( Wednesday 15th March at 1pm –County Hall – Morpeth   )

Ponteland Town Council, County Councillors and some residents have registered to speak on our behalf – as residents we need to support them.

Prevent Mass Development of Ponteland -Act Now Responses needed by 23 Dec

As mentioned in our previous post please find a link to the following documents.

A suggested draft response to the Supplementary Planning Document –

You can use the template as is but it would be great if you could add your own comments.

A  draft  objection response to the Banks Group outline planning permission application

Re the Core Strategy Major Modifications Document – This  response has to relate to the ‘Soundness’ of the Plan. NCC are attempting to get Dissington Garden Village in through the ‘back door’. They have not consulted with Ponteland residents – the Major Modifications are unsound. Many of you have authorised PGBG to act on your behalf – thank you. If you wish us to respond on your behalf please send an email to

pontgreenbeltgroup@btconnect.com

An information leaflet  is also provided

Remember the cut off date  is 23 Dec

1-banks-outline-application-objection

2-spd-response

3-information-leaflet-dec-2016

Please note – we are NOT against  development. Ponteland already has over 650 houses in the completions and approved applications  pipeline without the developments listed above.

Is it not ironic that the two large developments that are proposed include the word “village” in the title- A promotional gimmick to exploit the attractive  character of Ponteland – exactly what will be lost once the developers have made their huge  profits and long gone.

It is considered that the higher housing growth option, requiring 1,000 new dwellings over the plan period could begin to compromise the character of the town’ (Quote from NCC expert analysis Oct 2013)

We are looking at over 3000 new dwellings

How about this quote from NCC

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.

We are currently looking at population increase of 69%

or what about this quote from NCC.

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

Is what is being proposed “proportionate” growth? An element of  Green Belt ?

NCC are proposing to delete 411 Hectares across the entire County , 228 Hectares of that Green Belt land is in  Ponteland – an unjustified 51.7% of the total.

Ponteland Green Belt Group response to Major Modifications to Core Strategy Document.

Please find attached the PGBG submission to NCC re the Major modifications document.

We have had acknowledgement that it has been recieved

The responses in places are duplicated . This is because the  response has to address a particular modification area  and be sent in as a separate response.

We were  delighted to be able to  inform NCC that this response represents the views of over 1100 residents. Thank you.

We have no expectation that NCC will take any notice of the views of Ponteland residents. (At least they are consistent in that regard.)

We will continue to keep you informed

NCC Major Modifications _reply by PGBG

Guy Opperman passionately supports upgrading Ponteland High School but not at the ‘Clickemin site’!

“I have still yet to see any concrete evidence for the County Council’s proposed greenbelt deletions, including at the Clickemin site. The County Council’s latest justification, the suggestion that greenbelt deletion may be required in order to rebuild our schools, is not one I agree with. I passionately believe our schools need upgrading, anyone can see that. Just compare the condition of Ponteland’s High school to Kenton or Walbottle and it is clear our school buildings in Ponteland need investment in the future.

However there is no reason greenbelt needs to be used for rebuilding our schools. Our successful campaign for the rebuilding of Prudhoe High School will see the school built on exactly the same existing site. There is no reason why that can’t happen in Ponteland.”

Ponteland Greenbelt Group

This group of local volunteers are looking at the issues of potential large scale development around Ponteland at a time when local authorities Local Development Plan is not in place. This can be seen as a window of opportunity for any developer.

To date developers are looking at the possibility of developing on Greenbelt designated land at Clickemin Farm and Birney Hill Farm, in total up to 800 houses. There is also a land reserve of 2,500 acres at Dissington Estate, and maybe other areas.

The Greenbelt Group have grave concerns to the impact any developments of this size could have on Ponteland which most residents still see as a village with its unique characteristics.

This situation is compounded with the changes in the planning procedure which simplify the process which any application goes through. The revised National Planning Policy Framework, which is part of the National Guidelines, stream lines the process for planning applications. This could almost fast track an application through the planning process. In reality an application could be submitted to Northumberland County Council very soon, and objections can only be made within 21days of the application.

Question:  Can Green Belt be built on?
Answer:    Probably…if we don’t act now!!!!

We all need to respond to Northumberland County Council when any of these applications are submitted for consideration.

PROTECT PONTELAND

If you would like to be kept up to date or get involved, visit the website
www.pontelandgreenbelt.co.uk
Mobile:  07532157035

Just remember these issues will affect you and the way you live.

Alma Dunigan
Chair of the Ponteland Greenbelt Group