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

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.


If you would like to be kept up to date or get involved, visit the website
Mobile:  07532157035

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

Alma Dunigan
Chair of the Ponteland Greenbelt Group

September 2012 Update

Since the Event in the Memorial Hall in August a group of volunteers have set up a the Ponteland Greenbelt Group its mission is to inform the local Community of the possibility of large scale development around Ponteland.

This group has also recognised the need to support the Town Council in compiling a second draft of a Town Council Local Plan. This in principle was agreed at the Ponteland Community Partnerships Event on the 21st August with the Mayor Peter Cowey.

A small separate group has now been established to work on the second draft of the Town Council Local Plan.

I would ask residents to support our volunteers in their tasks ahead and we will keep you updated though this website.

Thank you for your support
Alma Dunigan
Chair Ponteland Greenbelt Group

Ponteland Community Partnership Consultation Event

21st AUGUST 2012

The consultation was divided into two sessions.

The afternoon session started at 2pm where a display had been assembled for the visiting residents of Ponteland.

The central point of the display was clearly a large map of Ponteland and the surrounding area showing quite clearly the extent of the potential development and the compounding effect of several very large housing estates on an area currently surrounded by Green Belt. Continue reading