Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Residents' Fury as 'Vital' Green Space Is Lost for Housing

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Residents' Fury as 'Vital' Green Space Is Lost for Housing

Article excerpt

Byline: DANIEL HOLLAND Reporter @danhollandnews

A GREEN space at the heart of a Tyneside community is likely to be concreted after a controversial planning application.

Newcastle City Council's planning committee gave approval for seven bungalows for people with learning difficulties to be built on part of South Gosforth Green.

Gordon Robinson, vice-chairman of the South Gosforth Residents' Association, argued the green plays a "valuable role" in compensating for a shortfall of parks in the area and children and the elderly will not be able to walk safely or easily to other nearby spaces.

He also criticised an "incomplete, unreliable, and flawed" assessment by the council's planning office, claiming the decision to approve the principle of developing the land last November was unlawful.

Civic centre officials denied their assessment was flawed and said the benefits of providing the supported housing outweighed any harm caused.

Mr Robinson claimed: "Officers pick and choose what policies to apply depending on what suits them. This has to stop."

He added: "It is absurd to bulldoze on our green."

Peter Cockbain, of the Newcastle Fairer Housing Unit, said that development would ensure that supported housing is accessible in all parts of the city.

Officers choose what to apply on what Gordon South Residents' The seven bungalows will be the first council homes built in Gosforth or Jesmond since 1981.

Kath Lawless, the city's assistant director of planning, said: "Officers are acknowledging there is a loss of open space, which has been assessed against the correct policy.

"I do not think this report is legally flawed. The application proposed to build on part of the open space.

"The rest remains for the use of the proposed new occupiers and the existing residents but there will clearly be less of it. …

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