The green belt is an important protection against urban sprawl, providing a green lung around towns and cities. The national planning policy framework delivers the coalition government's agreement to safeguard the green belt. Inappropriate development should not be approved in the green belt, and boundaries should be altered only in exceptional circumstances.
The area of greenbelt land between Newcastle, which is encroaching ever closer to Northumberland and Ponteland / Darras Hall in Northumberland, is particularly important because this area stands as a barrier between the two areas; once it starts to go, and we lose the green belt, we would have a genuine urban sprawl with the expanding Newcastle and the built up green belt becoming the classic urban sprawl.
Lugano wanted to build on the green belt. They say their plan for 280 houses on 82 hectares is an exceptional development.
The only problem is that no one agrees with this assertion:
- not the County Council’s Planning Committee,
- the Neighbourhood Plan group,
- the County Council’s existing planning policies
- the County Council’s Local Plan
- or the 4300 local objectors identifies Birney Hill as such a site
And that is why I maintained my strong objection.
The Blog from the Planning Inquiry this spring is here:
My campaign in parliament is here:
The background to this and the approach of the local and national Labour Party is here:
The land we are talking about: