Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fields-to-Homes Plans 'Excessive'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fields-to-Homes Plans 'Excessive'

Article excerpt

Byline: SONIA SHARMA Reporter sonia.sharma@trinitymirror.com @TheSharminator

CAMPAIGNERS are gearing up for a battle to prevent thousands of new houses being built on green fields.

A public inquiry, led by an independent planning inspector, is starting next week into North Tyneside Council's proposed Local Plan.

The plan will show how land is to be allocated for new housing, employment and retail over a 15-year period. The proposed policies will then help to guide future developments.

Under the programme, the Murton Gap site, between Murton and Monkseaton, could be set aside for 3,000 new houses, while Killingworth Moor could be earmarked for 2,000 new homes.

The council has said there will be no development in green-belt areas and a network of additional green space would be created to safeguard the character of the borough, for biodiversity, cycle routes, leisure use and wildlife, as well as making sure infrastructure was in place.

But a number of objections have been raised against the plan, mainly about the scale of development proposed and the potential impact on traffic, schools and other facilities. The inquiry, due to begin on Tuesday at the council's Quadrant offices, will hear views from groups including residents, wildlife campaigners, planning experts and builders.

Coun Judith Wallace, Conservative group leader, who is among those due to attend, has raised concerns about the council's basis for calculations.

She said: "The Local Plan will guide development for the next 15 years and will be the starting point for all future planning applications.

"It is therefore essential that we have the right plan.

"But our research shows that the number of new houses proposed by the council is excessive.

"We know that we need new developments to house a growing population, but we believe the council has over-estimated what's needed. …

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