Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Greenbelt Protest In Newcastle Tonight

There is a public meeting in Newcastle tonight to oppose the bizarre housing plans of Newcastle Council. Put simply they intend to build on greeen belt land, not brownfield first.
Their plans, in particular, pose a serious threat to the greenbelt land between Ponteland and Newcastle upon Tyne, and elsewhere in Gateshead. I find the actions of the Labour council surprising.
Newcastle City Council has put foward plans to build on land on the western edge of Newcastle between the A69 and A696, right next to the Newcastle / Northumberland Border. The Newcastle Council has named this area "Callerton Park" and identified it as Strategic Growth Area for 6,500 new houses.
They intend this to be the first place for their new One Core Strategy for house building in the Newcastle and Gateshead areas.

I am urging the Newcastle Council to have a re-think and withdraw the Callerton Park proposals.
They are not intending to build on brownfield land first. Nor are they intending to fill unused empty homes. Their first action and first choice is building on the green belt, effectively in our back garden.
This will significantly reduce the gap of green land between Newcastle and Ponteland.
I think we can all agree that over the coming years Ponteland and Darras Hall will expand – after all it’s a fantastic place to live. I live near Stamfordham myself.
However, any future development must be led by local communities. The local commnunity near Callerton Park is objecting to this and we should object to.
Development that affects Ponteland should be done in harmony with the needs of Newcastle, after they have consulted our Ponteland town council, and done sensitively to local residents. What Newcastle needs, like many areas, is affordable sustainable development. You only have to drive towards the city centre to see a huge number of brownfield sites which could be developed and areas where regeneration has stalled for too long or even stopped. This is where they should build first.

What no one needs is the council and big developers looking to make a quick buck off the back of a cash crop housing estate in the greenbelt surrounding our area.
I am urging Ponteland residents to have their say on the plans, which are currently out for consultation via the Newcastle City Council website. The deadline to make comments is January 4. I urge you to have your say.