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

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.

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

Can you believe the latest on Planning and future developments!

Northumberland County Council wants to impose changes to streamline the planning process, removing 3 local Area Planning Committee’s county wide and replacing with a central planning committee and delegated powers to officers.

The West Area Planning Committee was scrapped earlier this month with future planning decisions to be decided at Morpeth with the majority being decided without councillor input or contribution locally.

The Deloitte report focuses on effective and efficient use of resources-about saving money rather than about a balanced assessment of planning applications. Or are the new procedures being introduced to strangle debate and crush all opposition to anything that NCC wishes to impose upon Ponteland?

This proposal could be deemed as a serious threat to democratic local involvement in the planning process and could be perceived as lacking in transparency and accountability.

There is criticism in the speed in which this has been carried out by NCC as the consultation period had been shortened from 6 to 3 weeks. The release of the latest proposals for Ponteland has taken place after the end of the Final Draft Local Plan consultations, so avoiding any proper consultation on them.

This leaves our Town Councillors, locally elected by us, losing their statutory powers as consultees and unable to make comments on any planning application. In these circumstances what guarantee do we have that anyone will really listen?

Under the NCC proposals planning decisions will be made without any local knowledge and no meaningful consultation at local level.

Yet something else being imposed upon us

If that is not enough, NCC proposes for Ponteland should be deeply involved with new developments that will be subject to these new planning processes. These include the building new High, Middle and First schools and a Leisure Centre on a new site (on the Green Belt) allowing the existing sites to be released for future housing development.

The Town Library will be moved to the current Leisure Centre site in the short term and in the longer term it will co-locate on the new education and leisure campus. Halfway down Rotary Way, totally separate from the Town Centre!!!

The Ponteland Greenbelt Group needs YOU

Next weekend Ponteland will receive information and guidance notes on how to respond to the Northumberland Core Strategy Stage 2 document.
The group realises that Christmas is nearly upon us but unless we all respond to this document now, Northumberland County Council will presume you are in agreement with 3 fundamental issues.

  • The erosion and deletion of part of the Greenbelt around Ponteland
  • An additional 850 houses
  • Massive impact on the unique characteristics of our village

Please take time out to have your say, before 2nd January and collectively we can make a difference to the future of Ponteland and the surrounding area for the next 20 years.

Birney Hill Farm Planning Application 13/00132/OUTES

This information has been passed on by Northumberland County Council.

The site visit to Birney Hill Farm will take place on the 7th October during the late morning. County Councillors from the West Area Planning Committee accompanied by the Case Officer will attend and familiarise themselves with the site for consideration. More information on this event will follow in a few days.

The Public Meeting will take place on Wednesday 9th October at 6pm at the Ponteland High School, Dining Hall. A high turnout is expected. To help residents understand the procedure of that meeting a link to the Northumberland County Council Protocol for Public Meetings has been included. We hope you find this helpful in understanding the structure and format of the meeting.

To assist Northumberland County Council, Ponteland High School and its staff could you please indicate if you/or a number of residents are going to attend the Public Meeting. You can do this by simply leaving a message on the contact page on this website or by the supporters link. We are only interested in judging the volume of people who may attend and we assure you that personal details will not be collected.

Who will attend from the Council?
The Case Officer for this planning application, the Councillors from the West Area Planning Committee and the applicant will also be invited to be present. The proceedings will be chaired by the Chairman of that Committee and they will control the meeting.

The Case Officer has made a request through ourselves which is as follows:-
To enable the maximum to be gained by all parties at this event any advanced warning of the questions likely to be raised at the Public Meeting would allow NCC to invite the appropriate consultee to be present (eg Highway Engineers, Flood Risk Expert, Airport Planner) This would allow for a fuller answer to be given to the residents.
The Greenbelt Group have agreed to accept your questions on behalf of Northumberland County Council and pass them on to the Case Officer to arrange for a suitable answer to be given at the meeting. If you are aware now, that you wish to raise a question/s please use the Greenbelt Website contact page and leave your question.
Hope you have found this useful.

There will be other information available in a few days

Ponteland Greenbelt Group

Latest News Lugano-Birney Hill

On Wednesday 18th September the West Area Plans Committee meeting at Prospect House, Hexham have an agenda item on the Lugano planning application for Birney Hill.

This application is not for consideration or decision at this meeting.

The agenda item will compose of a verbal report from the Case Officer and a decision on a site visit date and time for the Committee members.
This will be followed by a request by Northumberland County Council for a public meeting to take place in Ponteland.

Greenbelt group members will be attending to observe and record discussions and information on that agenda item. Any information will be shared with you.

October News

Although the Government has committed that protections for Greenbelt land will not be watered down, Northumberland County Council are considering whether the allocated Greenbelt area of land should be changed, that is reduced.

I believe that we as residents should remind the Local Authority that we do not accept the removal or part removal of Green Belt designation around Ponteland.

The Northumberland County Council are targeting MARCH 2013 to agree its Core Strategy Plan but between now and MARCH 2013 Developers are taking a chance to put in planning applications on our ‘GREEN BELT’

We must in this window of time oppose any such plans.
We can make a difference.

Please remember the Greenbelt can only be altered or reduced if Ponteland resident’s want it and once it is concreted over it is gone forever. If you say nothing, that will give out a clear signal that you don’t care, so doing nothing is not an option.
Let us all join together in a very loud NO.

Hands off our Greenbelt !!!!

Planning Applications have not been submitted to Northumberland County Council yet. We must wait until this happens when we have just 21 days to respond.

In the meantime get involved by contacting us using the contact form on this website, or via our Facebook page and supporting our Campaign. Join us Fund Raising and donate to show Ponteland is united in preserving our Green Belt as it is today .

Mobile: 07532157035

Alma Dunigan
Chair of Ponteland Greenbelt Group