Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brown Field Homes Bid; Council Reveals Plans to Build 3,500 Houses

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brown Field Homes Bid; Council Reveals Plans to Build 3,500 Houses

Article excerpt

Byline: Rachel Wearmouth? 0191 201 6477 ? rachel.wearmouth@ncjmedia.co.uk

ACOUNCIL is set to open the door for developers to build thousands of homes on brown field land in a bid to kick-start the North East economy.

Newcastle City Council said the 3,500 homes will meet the demand for affordable housing and will be built on sites it owns over the next five years.

The authority itself is set to release land for 1,200 of the homes - 550 of which will be affordable - at sites in Denton, Blakelaw, Walker and Byker in a plan which represents PS130m of investment in Tyneside.

The plans are likely to create hundreds of construction jobs and will provide a major boost to the regional economy, and are due to go before the council's cabinet this morning.

Though the move has largely been welcomed, some campaigners have dismissed it as a "publicity stunt" and believe developers will overlook brown field sites for prime locations.

Civic leaders have released details of the plan at the same time as the council decides on its controversial One Core Strategy, which will see significant portions of green belt land made available for housebuilders.

Jill Burrell, of the Cities for People campaign group, said: "Newcastle City Council has chosen, despite fierce local opposition by thousands of residents, to review their green belt boundaries as part of the local plan.

"This has undoubtedly put pressure on the viability of potential brown field sites in itself. Why would developers want to develop brown field sites when the green belt sites are in the equation?" Your Homes Newcastle and Leazes Homes are to build 750 units, while a further 600 homes will be supported by registered housing providers.

The council will also market other brown field sites for private sector housing development.

Home Group confirmed it hopes to build 60 new homes in the Northbourne Street area of Elswick and plans to work with the authority to create other affordable developments.

While the majority of housing will be in Denton, Blakelaw, Walker and Byker, the rest will be spread across 18 city wards, with only the Heaton (North and South), Parklands and Wingrove areas free from further brown field development. …

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