Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Referendum Ban Won't Halt Protest; Campaigners to Carry on Fight against Building Plan

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Referendum Ban Won't Halt Protest; Campaigners to Carry on Fight against Building Plan

Article excerpt

Byline: Joanne Butcher

CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to build "the new Darras Hall" on open fields say their battle will continue despite a poll of residents being dropped.

On Wednesday, the Journal told how North Tyneside Council's cabinet had refused a referendum on draft proposals which could see many of the borough's green spaces concreted over.

They promised instead to extend the consultation period on their "Core Strategy" for an extra month.

The document, which sets out development priorities for the borough for the next 15 years, could potentially give the green light to huge building projects across North Tyneside.

One of the areas affected is Whitehouse Farm in West Moor, where developer Bellway has applied to build hundreds of luxury homes to rival des-res postcodes such as Darras Hall, near Ponteland, or Wynyard Woods in Teesside.

Now local residents fighting the application say they will not stop their campaign, despite the referendum on the Core Strategy being turned down. The West Moor Action Group is campaigning against both Bellway's planning application and the Core Strategy as a whole, and they have just submitted a 900-name petition to the council.

Carri Nicholson from the group said: "The development framework proposes residential and industrial development on every remaining piece of open space surrounding West Moor. After a number of public meetings, we have just submitted a petition asking the council to reconsider their plans for the area.

"We've asked them to refuse consent for any further development until a formal Neighbourhood Development Plan has been created in partnership with the community, which takes into account the wishes of the local residents.

"We are not alone in this, and we are working with other villages and communities in North Tyneside who also feel that the proposed framework will destroy the quality of life that many of the residents moved to the area to benefit from. …

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