Planning a vision for the future

MOVES are under way to create a new vision for the future of Ponteland.

A group has been formed to work on a Neighbourhood Plan for the area.

The concept has been introduced by the Government to give communities some say about what types of development they want to take place and where they should be located.

And now a formal application for registration has been submitted to Northumberland County Council. It is proposed that the plan will cover the civil parish of Ponteland.

Representatives of the area’s county councillors, the town council and Ponteland Community Partnership and volunteer members of the public with particular interests and expertise make up the group, but more people can be added. Two county council officers are helping with the process.

Ponteland Town Council has put forward the application following approval at a recent meeting of the authority as it is the qualifying body for the project. It has made available £4,667 from its budget for year one activities, which will include carrying out surveys and drawing up initial publications.

Coun Robin Ramsay said: “This task will be a lengthy process of at least two years’ duration and will require hard work from all the members of the group.

“Although the process will require extensive public consultation, it is hoped that the group will as far as practicable represent the diversity of the community.”

The plan needs to conform to the strategic elements of the county council’s Local Development Framework, which is currently in the second consultation phase, and the final document needs to be independently examined before it can go out to the public.

It will be adopted if it gets more than 50 per cent support from residents who vote in a referendum.

The terms of reference for the project and a Memorandum of Agreement with Ponteland Community Partnership have also been approved by the town council.