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
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