So Much for 880 houses for Ponteland

So much for Mr Hepple and his 880 houses for Ponteland.
Freedom of Information request received from Northumberland County Council (NCC) yesterday . NCC’s own figures currently show 1,119 houses in the plan period. They also show they anticipate a further 245 houses beyond the plan period. This is without any windfall sites being included – (NCC say they cannot supply at settlement level as their figures are for the Central delivery area) Remember this is a minimum figure – the true number built will be far higher

Latest NCC Core Strategy released for “consultation.”

Please find below the link to the Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy – Pre Submission Draft Consultation.

We are currently reviewing the content and will update you with our views as soon as possible. The consultation period runs until 25th November.

A drop in session is scheduled for the 7th November at the Memorial Hall

NCC Pre Submission Draft Consultation

Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Hepple?

In the recent article in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle (Link below) Cllr Hepple states “The plan clearly shows the provision for 880 additional new homes – nowhere near the figure’s quoted by the local MP and the Green Belt Group.” 

We will let you decide – read on.

The draft document states the following proposed housing numbers

Land East of Callerton Lane around 400 units (Existing schools and leisure site)

Land west of Callerton Lane around 180 units (In front of Willow Way)

Police HQ around 300 units. 

This is where Mr. Hepple gets his housing numbers from. NCC will not confirm maximum housing numbers for Ponteland. The word ‘indicative’ is used when talking housing numbers.

NCC have confirmed that the start of ‘the plan’ period runs from 1st April 2011.

At this moment in time we have around 600 houses already “in the bank” that are to be counted as part of our housing allocation. This number includes completions and outline planning permissions (including outline permission for 264 at Police HQ site)

If we add the remainder of our banked completions/permissions to the NCC additional numbers we = 1216 houses

In addition Ponteland is averaging over 30 windfall sites a year, (Yes they do count) that’s around 450 expected additional houses over the plan period.

So now we are up to 1666 houses

Do you regard that as “Nowhere near” the figures quoted by the Green Belt Group?

Finally – Can you honestly believe that a developer, who will have paid top dollar for over 3O hectares of prime land in the centre of Ponteland is only going build 400 houses when the average build is 30-40 units per hectare i.e. 900 – 1200 units.

This brings us to the potential for well over 2000 houses.

Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Hepple? – Not Ponteland residents!

Evening Chronicle 16/09/2015

Guy Opperman MP statement on latest NCC Core Strategy

“Northumberland County Council’s local plan is now drawing to a close. It seems in Ponteland at least, our communities have not been listened to. Fundamentally I believe in the Greenbelt, and I will always be a big champion of the vital role the Greenbelt plays here in Ponteland and Darras Hall. I personally have always supported substantial development of housing at brown field sites like the old police headquarters site in Ponteland and the old hospital in Stannington. However, what I want to see is a plan which is community led, with organic growth in our individual communities. Residents are rightly concerned that Northumberland County Council’s latest plan looks to be imposing a huge growth in housing numbers, with potential for over 2000 new homes, which would increase our local population by more than a third. Fundamentally, substantial areas of the Greenbelt are still being earmarked for housing. I have still yet to see any substantive evidence to support the County Council’s case for these proposed Greenbelt deletions.”

Latest NCC Core Strategy Draft Released

The latest Draft Core strategy from NCC has been released

Two immediate headlines.

1) The housing allocation for Ponteland has been increased to 900 – remember thats minimum!  Far greater than has been suggested in any other previous Core Strategy document or in any NCC so called “consultation’ events.

2 ) Ponteland has been re designated as a Main Town from being listed previously as a Service Centre – This is no doubt an attempt to justify the vast increase in housing allocation.

We will give further information once we have had time to digest the document.

The document can be found at. NCC Draft Core Strategy Sept 2015

 

 

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!!!

What else is going on in the North East, Durham County Council

As there are so many similarities between Northumberland and Durham’s proposed plans we decided to pass on this information for your viewing.

A brief summary follows on the INSPECTOR’S INTERIM VIEWS on the legal compliance and soundness of the submitted County Durham plan

To view the full report click here Durham Report

Released on Wednesday 18th February – this Inspectors interim report indicates that Durham County Council (DCC) Local Plan is unsound. DCC now has three options.

a) To continue the examination
b) To suspend it or
c) To withdraw the plan.

The Inspector has advised that it would not be in the best interests of plan making to recommend an unsound plan.
There are so many similarities between Northumberland and Durham’s proposed Plans; the findings are key to Ponteland residents and evidence that our concerns are justified!
Ponteland Green Belt Group has asked NCC for their initial response to this key DCC document due to the similarities of NCC Draft Core Strategy – we await their reply.
Key Points

  • Population and economic growth scenarios provided from Edge Analytics across both Plan areas.
  • Assessment of housing needs is too high…. the Council’s vision incorporates unrealistic assumptions about jobs growth and associated in-migration.
  • Following each stage of DCC Consultation following comments made by residents many changes were made to the Plan relating to both sites and policies – unlike NCC who have ignored residents’ concerns.
  • Unnecessary dwellings proposed for the Green Belt and a full review of non-Green Belt sources of supply should be undertaken.
  • Proposed relief roads are not justified.
  • The jobs target is very ambitious.
  • The employment statistics are an unacceptable risk and the housing potential is an overprovision.
  • No allowance has been made for bringing empty houses back into use, there is no allowance for small windfall sites and many brownfield areas of land have not been assessed.
  • The housing requirement should be reduced (suggests 29%)
  • Incursions into the Green Belt are directly contrary to national policy.
  • There is no need to release 3 large sites from the Green Belt.
  • Development of some sites would contribute to urban sprawl.
  • There are no exceptional circumstance which would justify release of 72.4 hectares of Green Belt land in Chester le Street.

NCC Final Draft Core Strategy Response

Response to Northumberland County Council (NCC) Core Strategy Final Draft for Housing, Employment and Greenbelt

Question 1 (Page 10) – Do you have any comments on the introductory section?
National Planning Policy states that household projections published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) should be used as the starting point. Release of DCLG2012 is imminent; this document does not offer assurances that current assumptions will be reviewed to incorporate DCLG2012.

Within the Introduction Councillor Alan Hepple acknowledges the need to use the most up to date … Read full document

Final Draft Core Strategy “Countdown”

Don’t forget:
All residents of a household (that includes children) have until the 11th Feb to respond to this NCC document.
View the front page below or Download a complete copy

Responses and comments can be delivered to:
By post to: Spatial Policy and Delivery Team, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 2EF
E-mail to: PlanningStrategy@northumberland.gov.uk
Hand deliver to: 93 Cheviot View or 17 Darras Road.

Greenbelt response to core strategy Jan 2015 Draft v 2 option 2_Page_1

Final Draft Core Strategy January 2015

Please get involved and respond to the Final Draft Core Strategy, all previous responses were for the previous documents not this Final Draft.

Every resident in Ponteland is eligible to respond, as seen below.
This is our last chance to make a difference.

Click here or on the first image to open and download the complete pdf file

Greenbelt response to core strategy Jan 2015 Draft v 2 option 2_Page_1

 

Greenbelt response to core strategy Jan 2015 Draft v 2 option 2_Page_2

GIFT AID FORM