Supplementary Planning Document – (Schools & Leisure) Response
Deadline for responses is 25 November 2015.
Responses should be sent to
Planning and Housing Policy Team
Northumberland County Council
County Hall, Morpeth
Northumberland NE61 2EF
E-mail: [email protected]
Name
Address
Which Consultation Question does your comment relate to?
Question 1
NCC links this SPD to expand on Policy 17 of the pre submission draft.
Policy 17 is predicated on an investment in Schools and Leisure, which it has been clearly stated, no
decision has been taken on whether to proceed further.
The initial reason for allocating the higher growth (850 – which was within the growth percentage
increase of Main Town status) was due to the important contribution that Ponteland could make to
the county, and attract entrepreneurs.
The reason now given in the Pre submission draft, for dismissing the views of the residents of
Ponteland and categorise Ponteland as a “Main Town is “in recognition of the significant investment
that will be made in schools and leisure (albeit that decision is actually some way off)
Any such investment, if made, will only replace what is already in existence.
The Main Town status is the only reason to allocate the high housing number to Ponteland which is
in turn being used to support the “exceptional circumstances” required by NCC to justify the
removal of the site from the Green Belt
Policy 17 is flawed aspirational and based on




Overambitious housing numbers.
Decisions yet to be made, even as to its affordability.
If the proposal is deemed unaffordable then NCC rationale for placing Ponteland as a
Main Town no longer exists and so the disproportionate allocation of housing to
Ponteland becomes invalid. Therefore the site is no longer required to be removed from
the Green Belt.
The development of the site is predicated on the above flawed and future uncertainty
thus NCC reliance on the investment to provide the “exceptional circumstances” to
remove the site from the Green Belt is extremely weak.

The site was the only site provided for consideration. NCC has a duty to explore
reasonable alternatives Active Northumberland and the Architects working on the
proposal were not asked to look for alternative sites. There is a complete absence of any
consideration for replacing the existing sports and leisure facilities on the existing site –
which has a plentiful supply of land to facilitate such a rebuild.
Which Consultation Question does your comment relate to?
Question 2
The existing position of the Schools and Leisure as shown in figure 2.3 shows that the facilities
are all within easy walking distance of the present town centre. There is more than sufficient
available land within the existing site to renew the Schools and Leisure facilities.
The case for releasing Green Belt land in Ponteland is not made out. It is based on NCC incorrect
categorisation of Ponteland as a Main Town. NCC stated reason for regarding Ponteland as a
Main Town is because of the significant investment that will be made in Schools and Leisure. The
proposal for Schools and Leisure has not yet even had an outline business case and no decision
has been made as to affordability.
The option for renewing on the existing site had not been put forward as a reasonable
alternative to be considered by the schools and leisure program manager. NCC are surely obliged
to show what reasonable alternatives have been considered and why those reasonable
alternatives were rejected
Ponteland already has Schools and leisure - any investment made will only upgrade or renew
existing facilities. It is difficult to understand why the replacement of already existing facilities
can justify the categorisation of Ponteland as Main Town
The consequence of being categorised as a Main Town allows NCC to allocate a larger proportion
of housing to the settlement than it could if it remained at a Service Centre grading. Should the
investment in the renewal of the existing facilities be rejected when the outline planning case is
put forward (sometime in 2016), Ponteland status as a Main Town will be fixed. The settlement
would have its Main Town housing allocation with no infrastructure or investment. The site
would have been removed from the Green Belt and therefore open to a speculative
development application and the settlement would be in danger of having even greater large
scale housing development.
Which Consultation Question does your comment relate to?
Question 3
Which Consultation Question does your comment relate to?
Question 4
We disagree with NCC suggestion that the site is of lower landscape sensitivity.
This site is the now the nearest part of the Green Belt under consideration for release to the
encroaching Tyneside conurbation. The primary purpose of this area of Green Belt is to prevent
that encroachment. NCC proposal to remove it from Green Belt protection is at a time when one
of the primary purposes of Green Belt is most needed to counteract the massive planned
developments already approved by Newcastle County council.
Many of the arguments put forward by NCC when objecting to the release of Green Belt land at
the Lugano, Birney Hill appeal, apply equally to this proposed site. NCC are being inconsistent in
suggesting that this site carries any less burden as far as the key purposes of the Green Belt as
per the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
The proposed development would cause real and severe harm to the Green Belt. The narrow,
vulnerable gap between Ponteland and Newcastle would be physically reduced by characteristic
urban sprawl. There would be encroachment into the countryside. The present visual continuity
between the landscape to the north and south of Ponteland would be broken. There would be
the perception that Newcastle and Ponteland had merged. There would be conflict with each of
the basic purposes of the Green Belt
Which Consultation Question does your comment relate to?
Question 5
The site vision is based on NCC overambitious assessment of Objectively Assessed Housing Need.
The categorisation of Ponteland as a Main Town is wrong. This mistaken view of the status of the
settlement has facilitated a disproportionate distribution of housing to the Ponteland settlement
(from 640 in the Full Draft plan to over 900 in the pre submission draft.) The replacement of
existing facilities is not justification for Ponteland’s unsuitable elevation to Main Town
status. The site vision basis is unsound.
NCC has not considered any reasonable alternative solution such as renewing/ replacing the
facilities on the existing site.
The sustainability of the site is also questioned. The new “community campus” will have less
sports field facilities than are currently available on the existing site. The replacement schools
will offer no greater pupil numbers than the current capacity. This is despite the fact that the
Core strategy is proposing a significant population increase into Ponteland. (18% minimum
population increase)
Which Consultation Question does your comment relate to?
Question 6
The case for releasing Green Belt land in Ponteland is not made out. It is based on NCC incorrect
categorisation of Ponteland as a Main Town. NCC stated reason for regarding Ponteland as a
Main Town is because of the significant investment that will be made in Schools and Leisure. The
proposal for Schools and Leisure has not yet even had an outline business case and no decision
has been made as to affordability.
The option for renewing on the existing site had not been put forward as a reasonable
alternative to be considered by the schools and leisure programme manager. NCC are surely
obliged to show what reasonable alternatives have been considered and why those reasonable
alternatives were rejected
Ponteland already has Schools and leisure; any investment made will only upgrade or renew
existing facilities. It is difficult to understand why the replacement of already existing facilities
can justify the categorisation of Ponteland as Main Town
The consequence of being categorised as a Main Town allows NCC to allocate a larger proportion
of housing to the settlement than it could if it remained at a Service Centre grading. Should the
investment in the renewal of the existing facilities be rejected when the outline planning case is
put forward (sometime in 2016), Ponteland status as a Main Town will be fixed. The settlement
would have its Main Town housing allocation with no infrastructure or investment. The site
would have been removed from the Green Belt and therefore open to a speculative
development application and the settlement would be in danger of having even greater large
scale housing development.
Which Consultation Question does your comment relate to?
Question 7
The case for releasing Green Belt land in Ponteland is not made out. It is based on NCC incorrect
categorisation of Ponteland as a Main Town. NCC stated reason for regarding Ponteland as a
Main Town is because of the significant investment that will be made in Schools and Leisure. The
proposal for Schools and Leisure has not yet even had an outline business case and no decision
has been made as to affordability.
The option for renewing on the existing site had not been put forward as a reasonable
alternative to be considered by the schools and leisure program manager. NCC is surely obliged
to show what reasonable alternatives have been considered and why those reasonable
alternatives were rejected
Ponteland already has Schools and leisure and so any investment made will only upgrade or
renew existing facilities. It is difficult to understand why the replacement of already existing
facilities can justify the categorisation of Ponteland as Main Town
The consequence of being categorised as a Main Town allows NCC to allocate a larger proportion
of housing to the settlement than it could if it remained at a Service Centre grading. Should the
investment in the renewal of the existing facilities be rejected when the outline planning case is
put forward (sometime in 2016), Ponteland status as a Main Town will be fixed. The settlement
would have its Main Town housing allocation with no infrastructure or investment. The site
would have been removed from the Green Belt and therefore open to a speculative
development application and the settlement would be in danger of having even greater large
scale housing development.
Which Consultation Question does your comment relate to?
Question 8
Which Consultation Question does your comment relate to?
Question 9
Download

Supplementary Planning Document Response Form