Saturday, 1 November 2014

Battle to save our greenbelt hits a milestone

After our long campaign to defend the greenbelt, in the next few weeks we will finally receive the latest set of figures from Northumberland Council for the number of homes it plans to build on the greenbelt. These figures will effectively form the Council's last draft of it's Local Plan.

So, after much work, and despite endless delays, Northumberland County Council's local plan now looks like it is beginning to draw to a close. Those of us who have been fighting to preserve our greenbelt are hoping we have been been listened to.

Fundamentally, I believe in the green belt, and I will always be a big champion of the Greenbelt both locally and in Parliament.

I have supported and continue to support substantial development of housing at brown field sites like the old police headquarters site in Ponteland, the old hospital site in Prudhoe and the old hospital in
Stannington. However, what I want to see going forward is community led, organic growth in individual communities.

I hope we have made some progress in increasing the amount of greenbelt land protected from housing. but I fear when the Council's final plan is produced there will remain substantial areas of the greenbelt earmarked for housing.

Despite the fact that nationally building on the Greenbelt is at its lowest since 1987, Northumberland County Council still seem determined to build thousands of houses on our precious greenbelt here in Northumberland. 

We must preserve as much of the Counties greenbelt as possible for future generations. 

That is not a fight I will ever give up on, but it really does look like we are now heading towards the last chance saloon.