Town council accepts plan amendments

Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.
Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

The Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan has taken a step closer to being adopted.

Following its submission to Northumberland County Council earlier in the year, the document has now been assessed by an independent examiner.

His changes have been accepted by the steering group that has been working on it for a few years and Ponteland Town Council, as a qualifying body for the purposes of neighbourhood planning for the Ponteland neighbourhood area, accepted them at a meeting last week.

The county council is now expected to issue a decision notice in the next few weeks, which will take it forward to a referendum.

If a majority of people vote in favour of the plan, it will go back to the county council to be formally ‘made’. At this point, the local authority would have to take it into account when making decisions on planning applications.

Alma Dunigan, chairman of the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, spoke at the meeting. She said that of the 32 planning policies put forward, 12 remain unchanged, the examiner slightly altered 13 of them and he changed seven of them.

The process of preparing the plan began in autumn 2012. Following periods of consultation with residents, policies and objectives were developed using evidence based work carried out by various sub groups set-up by the steering group.

The areas they cover include housing, built environment, local economy, flooding and sustainable drainage and transport and movement.

Town councillor Christine Greenwell said: “We would all like to thank the steering group members, who have done a fantastic job in putting together the neighbourhood plan.”