Concerns over Ponteland housing plans in green belt

Part of the 21-hectare site to the west of the A696 and north of the B6545 in Ponteland where Banks Property has applied to build 400 homes.
Part of the 21-hectare site to the west of the A696 and north of the B6545 in Ponteland where Banks Property has applied to build 400 homes.

Hundreds of objections have been lodged over a controversial proposal for 400 new homes at a site in Ponteland.

Banks Property submitted its application for a 21-hectare site to the west of the A696 and north of the B6545, which includes green belt land, after displaying its updated plans and seeking feedback from residents at Ponteland Leisure Centre in November.

But many of those who went along were unhappy with the West Clickemin Farm development and they have formally put forward their concerns.

Darras Hall resident Callum Tappin’s list of objections includes the following: ‘There would be an impact on the already oversubscribed school capacity, additional strain on oversubscribed local health resources, additional traffic flow congestion on top of the current over-congested roads around Ponteland and there is a lack of additional parking provision.

‘There is also a lack of utility infrastructure provision to support the extra people that this plan will inflict on Ponteland (water/gas/sewage/electricity).’

Ponteland Town Council is against the proposal. It says: ‘The proposed development would be seriously harmful to the green belt by reason of its inappropriateness and because it would significantly reduce its openness.

‘The benefits stated are unclear, there is no need for the development proposed and there is no transparent or essential case made with regard to supporting community facilities that may otherwise be funded without the significant harm arising to the openness of the green belt.’

When the plans were submitted, Banks Property’s managing director, Michael Shuttleworth, said: “We have created a high-quality development scheme for what we believe is the most appropriate location in the area for residential development, a view that is backed up by its inclusion in the draft county council Core Strategy as being appropriate for housing as part of a wider mixed-use development.”

The benefits outlined in the planning statement for the application include supporting the renewal of education and leisure facilities, more people supporting local shops and services such as libraries and community halls, and the creation of wildlife corridors and green infrastructure.