MP’s concern at greenbelt housing plan

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PONTELAND’S MP has raised concerns about housing plans on greenbelt land.

Land on the western edge of Newcastle’s urban area between the A69 and A696 at Callerton Park has been identified by its city council as a Strategic Growth Area for up to 6,500 new homes.

This forms part of a One Core Strategy long-term programme for house building in the Newcastle and Gateshead areas.

But Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham, has urged the authority to have a re-think and withdraw the Callerton Park proposals as they would significantly reduce the gap of green land between Newcastle and Ponteland.

“I think we can all agree that over the coming years Ponteland and Darras Hall will expand – after all it’s a fantastic place to live,” he said.

“But this development must be led by our local community, ideally through the town council, and done sensitively to local residents.

“What Newcastle needs, like many areas, is affordable sustainable development. You only have to drive towards the city centre to see a huge number of brownfield sites which could be developed and areas where regeneration has stalled for too long or even stopped.

“What no one needs is the council and big developers looking to make a quick buck off the back of a cash crop housing estate in the greenbelt.”

He is urging Ponteland residents to have their say on the plans, which are currently out for consultation via the Newcastle City Council website. The deadline to make comments is January 4.