Saturday, 21 November 2015

Last chance to make your views clear on Council's Local Plan

Consultation on the submission draft Core Strategy ends on 25 November 2015.

Given my well recorded opposition to building on the greenbelt I remain concerned at the continued high housing figures within the County Council's overall plan. I urge local people to continue to make representations as part of the County Councils ongoing Local Development Plan consultation.

The Council has also issued new proposals as part of the plan for a new school and leisure complex.

On the issue of co-location of services, my support for this principle is well known. In tough times it is vital that public bodies work together to deliver the best quality services. I am also passionate about securing investment in our local schools; nothing is more important than ensuring the best possible education for our children.

We know that being taught in school buildings in good condition, and with the latest facilities, can have a positive effect on pupil attainment. I think many of us therefore welcome the principle of Council investment in our area to deliver new school buidlings and a modern leisure centre. It must however be for local people and parents to make their voices heard to help determine how and where this investment should be delivered.

Regarding the Council's own preferred site, following concerns raised with me, I have been assured that the Council will now work with local residents to consult on issues around access, traffic and the specifics of the site plan.

It is vital that we get a Local Plan in place that works for Ponteland, and, most importantly, one which secures our community from speculative planning applications. We must remain ever aware that a lack of a Local Plan will provide a free-for-all for developers such as Lugano, who still own thousands of acres of land around Ponteland and Darras Hall.

As the Local Plan process draws to a close, it is crucial local people now take part in a final push to secure a Local Plan which balances the objectives of sustainable growth, local investment and protecting our precious greenbelt.

You can read and comment on the Council's plans here: