New plans aim to shape future of the borough

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

Fresh plans have been drawn up to shape the future of the borough for the next 17 years while protecting open spaces from overdevelopment.

Officers at North Tyneside Council have been drawing up the new proposals for the Local Plan following a consultation last year.

Controversial areas – including potential housing on Whitley Bay Ice Rink and up to 7,500 new homes at Killingworth Moor and Murton – have been dropped following feedback from residents and stakeholders.

The Local Plan, which could be formally agreed next summer at the earliest, sets out how North Tyneside will develop until 2032 and approved housing development sites, reducing the likelihood of controversial sites being approved on appeal.

Deputy chief executive Paul Hanson said they were keen to protect open spaces while at the same time help the borough grow and develop, ensuring they had the right balance of new homes and businesses.

Mr Hanson said: “Last year we had nearly 1,000 people come back to us with views on specific sites. Developers also came to us.

“We have listened to what they said and come back with these proposals.

“The Local Plan can’t be too ambitious but can’t be too low either. But if we don’t have one in place we could end up with developments on greenfield sites.

“I’m excited by the fact we’re planning for employment growth. We’ve now go tdiverse businesses in the borough.”

Neil Cole, planning policy manager, added: “This is about building quality places for people to live.

“We don’t want to build ghetto neighbourhoods, we want to build neighbourhoods and communities that will last a number of generations.”

The latest proposed Local Plan sets out where 10,000 new homes could be built, as well as plans already approved for 5,000 new homes.

There will now be a maximum of 4,500 new homes across the Murton and Killingworth Moor sites following feedback from residents.

New business developments and retail sites – creating 13,000 new jobs – are also earmarked while protecting the Green Belt and open space.

A new seven-week consultation has begun with all those who previously submitted comments being invited to have another say; public consultation meetings; and a leaflet being sent to every household.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “It is really important that we have extensive involvement from the public to help produce a Local Plan that enables us to ensure a thriving, prosperous borough that also protects and improves those things about North Tyneside that are most important to us – our natural environment, open spaces, and wildlife corridors, our town centres, our unique heritage and our safe successful communities.”

She added: “The Council has no choice in whether it has a Local Plan as national government policy requires that all local authorities have a document that can demonstrate they have planned the growth of their area.”

There will be a further Local Plan drawn up for consultation later this year before a final version is drawn up and submitted, which could be approved by summer 2016.

Once approved, the Local Plan will guide planning decisions in the borough through until 2032 by allocating approved uses for specific sites and outlining the Council’s policies on key issues – including the need to ensure 25 percent of new housing is affordable.

The six public drop-in sessions are:

• Wednesday, February 25; White Swan Centre, Citadel East, Killingworth; 2pm to 4.30pm, and 6pm to 8pm;

• Thursday, February 26; Shiremoor Centre, Earsdon Road, Shiremoor; 2.30pm to 5pm, and 6pm to 8pm;

• Monday, March 2; North Shields Customer First Centre, North Shields; 2pm to 4.30pm, and 6pm to 8pm;

• Wednesday, March 4; John Willie Sams Centre, Market Street, Dudley; 2pm to 4.30pm, and 6pm to 8pm;

• Tuesday, March 10; Whitley Bay Customer First Centre, York Road, Whitley Bay; 2pm to 4.30pm, and 6pm to 8pm;

• Wednesday, March 11; Wallsend Customer First Centre, The Forum, Wallsend; 2pm to 4.30pm, and 6pm to 8pm.