Town council formally objects to future plans for area

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

Ponteland Town Council has formally objected to development and re-location plans for the area.

The core strategy decisions that have been made by those in charge at Northumberland County Council include identifying Ponteland as a ‘main town’ rather than its previous ‘service centre’ designation.

Among the specific proposals for the area is a major project to provide new buildings for Ponteland High School, Ponteland Middle School and Darras Hall First School on a shared site.

Along with public leisure facilities, the super campus would be situated on land to the east of the existing Pont High and Middle schools. The buildings currently in place would be demolished and new homes would be built on the site.

In addition, the library off Thornhill Road is due to be closed in the spring and work will be carried out to make library services available at Ponteland Leisure Centre, which is located off Callerton Lane.

Concerns have been raised by various groups and organisations, as well as individual residents.

And Ponteland Town Council has stated that it is unhappy with the proposals.

Its response includes the following: ‘The town council would welcome some improvement in education facilities in Ponteland, but not if it requires building 580 houses along Callerton Lane.

‘We would prefer to see improved education facilities in the Callerton Lane area.

‘We believe that the triangle of land from Callerton Lane to north of Rotary Way is the wrong area for new housing, which would be better located elsewhere such as on the former police HQ site.

‘Re-location of Darras Hall First School would be very unpopular with parents and the governing body and it would impact adversely on Broadway businesses.

‘There is a desire for the existing leisure centre to be upgraded on its current site and we are unaware of any demand to demolish the current building in favour of re-location.

‘We know of no support for the re-location of the library.

‘There is increasing interest in the current library site being developed to house a combination of functions such as a new library, an information centre, town council offices and meeting rooms for community use, for example councillors’ surgeries.’

The authority is also concerned about the potential loss of the leisure centre car park, as it performs a secondary role of providing parking space for various premises in the village centre that have limited parking of their own.