Following an overwhelming yes vote at a referendum in September, the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan has now been ‘made’ by Northumberland County Council, bringing it into legal force.
The document is now part of the statutory development plan for the Ponteland parish area and decisions on planning applications there must be made in accordance with its policies, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
Preparation for the plan started in 2012 and a steering group of local volunteers working on behalf of Ponteland Town Council met every fortnight.
There were consultation periods and the views of residents were used to put the document together.
Its 32 planning policies cover the following topics: sustainable development principles, protection of our built heritage, protection of the natural environment, growth of the local economy, a mix of housing to meet local needs, community well-being, flooding and sustainable drainage, and transport and movement.
Coun John Riddle, cabinet member for planning at the county council, said: “The planning policy framework in Northumberland is being strengthened by the adoption of neighbourhood plans like this one.
“This is the fourth plan to be made and there are around 20 others in various stages of preparation across the county. The council is pleased to provide significant support to local groups in preparation of their plans.”
In the referendum, which took place on September 28, a total of 2,629 people said Yes – this was 96.1 per cent of those who voted. There were 101 votes for No and three spoilt votes.
Ponteland Mayor Alan Varley thanked the steering group members and the county council planning officers who provided support and guidance on behalf of Ponteland Town Council.