Fears continue over proposals for new housing

The area off Rake Lane that has been earmarked by North Tyneside Council for future development. GM022216
The area off Rake Lane that has been earmarked by North Tyneside Council for future development. GM022216

Hundreds of people have signed a petition against plans to build thousands of new homes on open land.

North Tyneside Council has been consulting with residents and businesses to draw up a Local Plan – setting out planning guidelines until 2032.

Without a Local Plan the Council is less likely to be able to successfully reject planning applications that it believes are wrong for North Tyneside.

Mayor Norma Redfearn

But following the latest round of consultation, more than 700 people have signed a petition against proposals to build 3,000 new homes around the village of Murton, stretching across to Rake Lane in North Shields and Monkseaton High School.

Conservative member Sean Brockbank said: “The support for this petition is overwhelming, it is clear that residents don’t want this development in Monkseaton South.

“This plan will have a hugely decremental effect on our ward, replacing farmland with concrete in an already flood prone area will only increase the risk to residents.

“The open space which the development is proposed for is regularly used by residents and it is important for their health that they have access to open spaces.”

Conservative group leader Coun Judith Wallace added: “This a massive area to be covered by housing estates. Residents are rightly worried about more flooding, huge traffic congestion and pressure on schooling.”

At their meeting on Monday, cabinet members agreed to a further six-week consultation, due to start around November 2, as they look to have a Local Plan in place by 2017.

A Pre-Submission Draft Local Plan – the final version of the plan produced by the Council before it is considered by the government – has been reshaped to take on board public feedback during consultation in March.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “This criticism is ironic coming only days after the Prime Minister made a public statement warning local government to agree to build thousands of more homes or risking his ministers stepping in and making decisions for them.

“Not delivering a Local Plan by 2017 that delivers on the government required levels of housing would put North Tyneside communities at risk of even more indiscriminate and increased levels of house building at the direction of ministers.

“Without a Local Plan the Council is less likely to be able to successfully reject planning applications that it believes are wrong for North Tyneside.

“Our approach will achieve the government-required building levels, whilst achieving the priorities important to residents; delivering a choice of housing, enabling job creation, while protecting our Green Belt and the character of the borough.

“We are being open and honest with residents, every household will receive information and an invite to drop in sessions during a six week consultation period, and can make comments that will go forward to the government inspector who will make the final decision on adoption of our plan.”

In order to meet the level of growth required by the government, strategic development sites at Murton Gap and Killingworth Moor have been retained in the Pre Submission Draft.

However, more detailed visual ‘concept plans’ for these two sites have been developed in order to give residents a clearer understanding of the proposals and how they could support the Authority’s vision for North Tyneside.

The plans will help address the issues previously raised by the public, including: illustrating the new areas of formal and informal open space, including landscape buffers; measures to protect, create and enhance areas for wildlife and biodiversity; the provision of sustainable drainage solutions to address flood risk which can be integrated with open space and biodiversity; the broad locations for the ‘blocks’ of residential development (to include employment at Killingworth Moor) and potential phasing of the development.