Controversial plans set to get green light

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Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.
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Decisions are set to be made on three major planning applications in the Ponteland area next week – and they are being recommended for approval by county officers despite hundreds of objections.

The proposals for 400 new homes on land west of Cheviot View, a Dissington Garden Village on land north and west of Darras Hall and new schools and a leisure centre on the existing leisure centre site are due to be considered by Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee at its next meeting on Wednesday, which will start at 1pm, at County Hall in Morpeth.

Among the concerns raised by local residents, including the Ponteland Greenbelt Group, is that there would be an unnecessary loss of green-belt land.

In relation to residential developments, they believe the housing projects that already have planning permission in the area are sufficient to meet future needs and requirements.

Planning officers are recommending to the committee that the benefits of the schemes outweigh the loss of green-belt land.

The application, by Lugano Dissington Estate Limited, has two parts. The first is an outline bid for an exemplar garden village comprising up to 2,000 dwellings and space/facilities for employment, commercial, agricultural and leisure uses, and associated infrastructure.

The second part is a full application for planning permission for strategic flood alleviation measures and the demolition of a small number of buildings.

It was it was not among the list of 14 garden villages announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government earlier this year, but the report by planning officers includes a note of optimism.

It states: ‘The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has recently provided confirmation to the council that it is supportive of the scheme, despite having not been announced in the first tranche of garden village projects being supported by Government.

‘The provision of “critical friend support” and possible “capacity funding support” shows a clear statement of intent from DCLG and the HCA of their continued commitment to ensuring that the Dissington Garden Village proposal progresses.’

The Banks Property bid is outline permission for the construction of 400 residential dwellings, associated roads, paths, car parking, drainage and landscaping.

In addition, the county council is seeking to demolish the existing leisure centre and replace it with a new leisure centre, library, primary school and secondary school.

The reports are available online at www.northumberland.gov.uk and can be found by clicking on Meetings on the homepage and then selecting the relevant strategic planning committee (March 15).

Those who have submitted a written comment on an application have a right to ask to speak about it at the planning committee meeting.

You must register a request if you wish to speak – call 01670 622614 or email democraticservices@northumberland.gov.uk. The deadline to do so is noon on Tuesday.

There is a total of five minutes for objectors to speak on each application and a total of five minutes for supporters.

If more than one person registers to speak in either of these slots you will need to share the five minutes, or agree on a spokesman.