Dissington Estate “somewhere near Ponteland”

Ponteland Green Belt Group attended todays Cabinet Meeting at County Hall.

Grant Davey (Leader of the Council) introduced the Report saying that NCC had been contacted by The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and asked to submit an Expression of Interest for support in developing a proposal for a Garden Village. Councillor Davey said that he thought that the proposed site (Dissington Estate) was ‘somewhere near Ponteland’.

The Garden Village proposal is for 1800 homes – this is in addition to the housing numbers proposed for Ponteland within the Core Strategy (minimum 900 with potential for nearly 2000 houses).Councillor Peter Jackson and Councillor Reid objected to the proposal; the following is a summary of some of the points raised –

NCC were not directly contacted and asked to submit a proposal – a Government circular was sent to ALL Councils throughout the Country notifying them of the scheme.
The current proposal does not meet the clearly defined criteria for the scheme; DCLG state –

  • The garden village must be a new discrete settlement, and not an extension of an existing town or village.
  • It is important that new garden villages are built as a response to meeting housing needs locally.
  • In exchange for guaranteed housing delivery, we will work with you to identify and deliver planning freedoms to support housing growth including, for example, ensuring that there is greater ability to resist speculative residential planning applications, and to continue protecting the Green Belt
  • We welcome expressions of interest which make effective use of previously developed land (brownfield land) and/or public sector land.

NCC and Lugano Developments have identified the site (Dissington Estate); there are other more appropriate sites across Northumberland that fit the established criteria for this Government initiative.
The proposed scheme is very similar to the Birney Hill proposal (Village concept, Green Belt Development); NCC legally challenged this at great expense little over a year ago – rightly arguing against inappropriate development within Green Belt and no identified housing need.
Up to 12 Garden Villages/Towns/Cities will be progressed – If this NCC scheme is chosen, Grant Davey stated that the Government would have to understand that the current Core Strategy would be delayed yet further; NCC would need to incorporate further deletion of Ponteland Green Belt and to schedule yet further Consultation timeframes.
NCC have stated that they will progress this housing development even if they do not get DCLG scheme approval.

Interesting times ahead as we attempt to fully understand why NCC continue in their determination to destroy the special character of Ponteland.

Best wishes
Ponteland Green Belt Group

Dissington Garden Village

In the report to cabinet paper, NCC make reference to the fact that the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN ) for housing is a minimum figure
The NCC current Core Strategy population, housing and economic growth scenarios are already grossly overinflated (by a factor of over 100%) and are significantly flawed; this proposal is in addition to current overinflated numbers.

The proposed Dissington Estate development is at the Expression of Interest stage; it does not meet the Government Criteria for the development of Garden Villages and the vision to protect Green Belt.

Criteria
In exchange for guaranteed housing delivery, we will work with you to identify and deliver planning freedoms to support housing growth including, for example, ensuring that there is greater ability to resist speculative residential planning applications, and to continue protecting the Green Belt.

The DCLG paper -Locally Led Garden Villages,Towns and Cities (March 2016) encourages expressions of interest which makes effective use of previously developed land ( brownfield land and /or public sector land. Dissington Estate is designated Green Belt.

Garden Villages must be new discrete settlements and not urban extension of an existing town or village;

The Dissington Estate site around West Houses Farm is immediately adjacent to Ponteland, it cannot be regarded as a “new discrete settlement.”

The recently rejected Lugano proposal for the Birney Hill site was also based on a Garden Village concept. NCC refused that application on the basis that it was an inappropriate development on the Green Belt . Why is this different?

Ponteland Garden Village Proposal

Lugano are working with NCC on submission to Government of an ‘Expression of Interest’
For the development of a Garden Village on the Dissington Estate. The proposal is suggesting an additional 1800 houses for Ponteland.

NCC press release – Garden Village

Localy led Garden Village – Cabinet Report

Birney Hill Application Refused

Ponteland Green Belt group is delighted to hear that The secretary of State for Department for Communities and Local Government has accepted the recommendations of inspector John Grey and has refused the the Lugano application to build 280 houses on our precious Greenbelt

It is noted that the Secretary of State finds that the very special circumstances necessary to justify inappropriate development in the Green Belt did not exist in this case.

A big thank you to all our supporters

Whilst this decision is very encouraging the Green Belt around Ponteland continues to face an even greater threat.

NCC have stated Ponteland is central to the economic growth of the county and so NCC plan to release large swathes of Green Belt land around Ponteland to facilitate large scale housing development in the village.

The Ponteland Green Belt Group is not complacent . The fight continues!

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

Back to Reality for the Ponteland Greenbelt Group

With the “Festive Season” over,
It is back to reality for the Ponteland Greenbelt Group
We now face 3 issues in the New Year:

  • Birney Hill Inquiry for 3 weeks starting 13th Jan until 29th Jan
  • NCC Core Strategy Community Consultation from 12th Dec until 11th Feb
  • New Sports Centre idea?

Birney Hill Inquiry
Location: Falcons Rugby Club,
Dates
First Week: Tuesday-Thursday 13th, 14th & 15th Jan.
Second Week: Tuesday-Friday 20th, 21st, 22nd & 23rd Jan.
Third Week: Tuesday-Thursday 27th, 28th, & 29th Jan.
Times: 13th Jan starting at 10am all remaining days start at 9.30am.

No information is available on the timing of breaks during the day or finishing times at the end of the day, this will be decided by the Inspector each day depending on the proceedings.

Ponteland needs to show a good presence at this Inquiry and we appreciate that 3 weeks is a long time but we need to count on you coming to view this public event and supporting the Greenbelt Group who have worked so hard in protecting our Greenbelt.
Once it is gone-it’s gone forever!

Northumberland County Council Final Draft Core Strategy Consultation
This started on the 12th December, before Christmas, it is our opportunity to make comments to this new document. We only have until the 11th February to return a response.

At the last consultation Ponteland contributed over 4,300 responses with thousands more individual comments to NCC, we are assured that all these comments have been taken into consideration when preparing this Final Draft.

However, to make a difference we all need to attend the drop in sessions programmed for Ponteland, view the NCC website, raise our questions and respond with comments as we did before. Link to be found in the previous articles.
This is a “New Consultation” and previous responses will not count against this Final Draft.

Drop in dates & times:
Wednesday 14th Jan Leisure Centre 1-7.30pm
Saturday 31st Jan Memorial Hall 10am-3pm

The Greenbelt Group have been working on the NCC document over the Christmas break and will be giving some guidance in the next few days.

New Sports Centre
The Greenbelt Group will be looking into this and reviewing the information in the next update on the homepage.

 

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.”

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.

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.

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