Backing for plan group’s objectives

A group’s set of aspirations for the future direction of Ponteland has received strong support from the residents that responded to its consultation.

Comments were invited for the vision and objectives stage of the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan process. They could be made online or on forms available during a four-day drop-in event at the Memorial Hall.

The overall vision statement was backed by 93 per cent of respondents and for all but one of the topics, the percentage in favour ranged from 87 to 93 – 69 per cent agreed with the objectives for education and youth activities.

Many of the people taking part called for the regeneration of Merton Way and the Broadway to encourage a greater variety of shops, improvement of public transport and parking facilities and protection of the area’s green belt among other views.

Concerns were also raised about the impact of new development on the infrastructure to deal with surface water during heavy rainfall.

The Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan is being prepared by a steering group of seven volunteers and five councillors on behalf of the town council. All comments will help shape the next stage in the process (draft planning policies and project recommendations).

Its executive summary of this consultation says: “The overwhelming number of residents attending the drop-in sessions spent a great length of time viewing the displays.

“A total of 15 attendees registered to become a supporter of the Neighbourhood Plan as part of a focus group to be set up in the New Year.

“They will be encouraged to play a more active role in the progress of the group and some may take on the role of advisors if appropriate.”