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Urban extension mooted for North East new town

by DevAssist Team on May 8, 2015 No comments

Planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore has submitted an outline planning application to Northumberland County Council for a major residential-led development of 1,600 new homes near Newcastle on behalf of a consortium of developers. This announcement comes after a year previously, local residents fought an unsuccessful battle to get a number of locations designated as village green status to prevent development from going ahead.

Persimmon Homes and Bellway Homes want to build the sustainable urban extension on an 86-hectare site to the south-west of Cramlington New Town. The scheme, which will be known as Arcot Woods, also includes a local centre with shops, a pub, a school, a pub as well as a care home, sheltered housing for older people, a community centre and a health centre.

Also proposed is nearly 30 hectares of public open space. Some 10 per cent of the housing will be affordable.

Campaigners in Cramlington had been working to get land north of Station Road in the town accepted as a village green. A public inquiry was held in December 2013 after the Cramlington Save Our Space (SOS) group submitted an application in 2012.

But Northumberland County Council ruled to go with the recommendations of independent planning inspector Alan Evans to reject the application. In his report following a five-day public inquiry, Mr Evans said: “The Application fails overall and in respect of each of the constituent parts of the Application Land (including the Unkempt Land South and North) because the claimed neighbourhood does not qualify as such in law, the “three neighbourhood” scenario is not supported by evidence and the Application cannot be sustained on the basis of Westwood Grange alone.”

Residents claimed in their application that the land should be officially designated as a village green, as it has been widely used as a recreational resource for more than 20 years.

The Planning and Environment and Rights of Way Committee at Northumberland County Council considered the inspector’s report and voted to reject the application.

The Cramlington SOS campaigners had said that if the neighbourhood had been upheld then all of the ‘Unkempt Land’ would have qualified as a village green.

The application represents the two first phases of the so-called ‘South West Sector Master plan’. The site was first allocated for housing development 1999 and this was carried forward to the Blyth Valley Core Strategy in 2007. In 2008 the council identified the sector as part of the ‘Growth Point Programme of Development’ for south-east Northumberland.

Arcot Woods is designed to be the final quadrant of Cramlington New Town, which was first established in the 1960s. The plans will help to complete the original vision of Cramlington and support its development as one of the most sustainable and accessible towns in Northumberland.

DevAssist TeamUrban extension mooted for North East new town

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