Clear support for green belt

HUNDREDS of residents have had their say about the key issues facing Ponteland.

The Neighbourhood Plan Group, which will draw up a document that will influence future planning policy in the area if approved in a referendum, has revealed the results of a questionnaire seeking views on a range of subjects.

The policies from the group of residents, led by Ponteland Town Council, will ultimately need to align with Northumberland County Council’s core strategy for growth and development.

A total of 412 responses were submitted and 92 per cent were of the view that new housing should preferably be built only on previously developed land.

Only four per cent supported the proposal in the draft core strategy that Ponteland should contribute an additional 850 houses over the next 20 years. This increased to 19 per cent if it could be achieved without the loss of green belt land.

Meanwhile, almost half of those who took part did not agree that more affordable housing should be provided in the area – 32 per cent were positively in favour of the proposal.

In the transportation and highways section, 74 per cent supported the principal of a northern bypass around Ponteland if a suitable route could be agreed.

Traffic congestion in the vicinity of local schools is considered to be dangerous as well as inconvenient by 84 per cent of respondents and just as many people are opposed to the Metro coming into the area as support the concept.

Among the business and employment topics was the industrial estate (currently in Meadowfield) and 58 per cent were of the view that Ponteland needs to retain one, although 51 per cent were also in favour of it being relocated to a peripheral location in due course in order to free up land for other uses.

In addition, 95 per cent supported the view that protection should be extended to include the trees and green spaces on the approach roads to Ponteland and 85 per cent agreed that the Conservation Area should be reviewed and extended.

The survey responses will be the main community reference point for those preparing the first draft of the Neighbourhood Plan.

For the detailed results to all the questions, visit