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Potential loss of land sparks an angry response

The top table with planning committee members, council officers and representaives from Lugano Group. Standing is the county council's head of development services, Karen Ledger, replying to a question.

The top table with planning committee members, council officers and representaives from Lugano Group. Standing is the county council's head of development services, Karen Ledger, replying to a question.

THE potential loss of green belt land in Ponteland has produced an angry response from members of the public.

Northumberland County Council’s proposals about housing will be put to public consultation later this month as part of its Core Strategy options.

Although the final document still has to be approved by the authority’s policy board, officers have warned that existing boundaries may have to change to accommodate growth.

And part of a report to a recent Communities and Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting said: “In order to deliver the economic and housing development required to deliver the preferred strategy, Hexham, Prudhoe and Ponteland will require land to be deleted from the green belt. Feedback on general locations will be sought through the consultation.”

The report was mentioned by Ponteland Greenbelt Group member Lesley Noble at a public meeting about Lugano Group’s bid for up to 280 homes and other facilities on a site at Birney Hill.

She said that she and many other residents would fiercely oppose any plans to remove part of the green belt in the area and they are concerned the report will make it more likely that planning officers will recommend approval at a west area planning committee meeting on October 30.

The county council’s head of development services, Karen Ledger, said that its housing requirement evidence work can be considered by the case officers, but it is too early to take into account the emerging Core Strategy proposals.

She added: “If we don’t make appropriate provision for housing across the county, communities with green belt land will come under increasing pressure from developers.”

 

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