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

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!

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!!!

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


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,
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.


Clickemin Farm & Birney Hill Greenbelt Updates

As you are aware Northumberland County Council (NCC) Core Strategy suggests building around 850 new houses in Ponteland requiring large scale development.

NCC has already identified the area around Clickemin Farm on both sides of Cheviot View/Ridgley Drive area as their preferred location. This is Green Belt land. This area of Green Belt along with the Birney Hill site provides the separation between the boundary of Newcastle and Northumberland.

NCC are re-assessing their plan based on the most recent Office for National Statistics(ONS)population projections, recent evidence suggest that NCC have overestimated their population projections by over two thirds. The overwhelming view of Ponteland residents is consistent-we have no desire to see unnecessary erosion of the Green Belt.

We remain concerned that even in the face of significant data suggesting NCC projections are grossly exaggerated, NCC will continue to press ahead using this flawed data and impose on Ponteland a vastly disproportionate allocation of housing.

This concern has been highlighted by the fact that both the Clickemin site and the Birney Hill sites are currently undergoing geological surveys.

Comments from the surveyors carrying out the work at Clickemin, and discussion with Banks Developers, has confirmed that this survey is being conducted to support NCC projected housing need; Banks Developers have confirmed that the report will feed into the next draft NCC Core Strategy-due out in November.

It would appear that NCC is determined to continue with their plans to destroy the character of Ponteland by imposing large housing schemes on the Green Belt.

Please find below a link to a Government announcement concerning Eric Pickles MP introducing new National Guidance for local planning officers giving greater protection to the Green Belt. This new guidance was issued on the 6th October 2014.

NCC is close to releasing the Core Strategy for final consultation. We need to ensure that NCC have taken into consideration-

  • Revised ONS population projections and
  • This recently issued national guidance issued from Government.

We would encourage you to contact NCC on the email address below-we all need to ask NCC to confirm that they intend to take into account latest Government guidance and review the release of Ponteland Green Belt land.

The email should be sent to
Once again your support could prove invaluable to the ongoing campaign to protect Ponteland.

Thank you for taking the time to care.
Ponteland Green Belt Group


A fresh application has been submitted to NCC for:
Medwyn Street Houses Ponteland

Demolition of 2 semi-detached dwellings and construction of two storey, 14 bed hotel with car parking areas and access roads.

Please view NCC website for details
Application details 14/01599/FUL

The Ponteland Greenbelt Group will be reviewing this application as we believe that part of the site could be greenbelt.

The closing date for comments is the 7th September

An update and a few facts on the Police HQ site

  • Some residents close to the site have received a leaflet drop
  • According to the press this site is to be sold
  • As we know to date this area has been given outline planning approval for 150 houses.
  • Discussions have taken place between NCC planners and the agents representing the interests of the Police for a fresh outline application for approx 250 houses.
  • This site is designated as “previously developed site in the Greenbelt” this makes it a slightly different category to Greenbelt.
  • Next Tuesday at Merton Hall between 2pm-8pm residents are invited to view the proposed application.

We would like to reassure you of our ongoing campaign to protect the Greenbelt and the Ponteland Greenbelt Group will study and scrutinise the new application when it is submitted to Northumberland County Council, but we would ask you to read on:

Did you know?
This site has had several uses since it was purchased in the early 1900’s

Did you know?
The Poor Law Guardians of Newcastle upon Tyne bought 70 acres from Smallburn Farm on which they built accommodation for children from the workhouse in Newcastle. They opened in November 1903 and reached 320 children by 1913, where they were educated, trained and lived in houses with a house mother.

Did you know?
The Cottage Homes closed in 1960 and several of these houses are listed buildings along with the Superintendants house and workshops.

Did you know?
For those who are old enough to remember, it was Northumberland Teacher Training College, which accommodated over 400 students and staff. All of those buildings, including halls of residence, still exist today and have been fully utilised by their present owners.
Because this site has served a number of uses over time, this is what makes the site a “previously developed site in the Greenbelt” and we hope you find this information, put together by our group, beneficial. This is part of an ongoing situation and to learn more, we remind you of the

Community Consultation on Tuesday 18th February at Merton Hall 2pm-8pm