Three sites are dropped after public feedback

Whitley Bay Ice Rink.'REF 0301147586
Whitley Bay Ice Rink.'REF 0301147586

Controversial plans to develop three sites in the borough have been dropped as council chiefs look to set out development guidelines for the next 15 years.

Initial proposals for North Tyneside’s Local Plan had included development of the Whitley Bay Ice Rink site, land west of Camperdown and Shiremoor allotments.

But the latest plans out for consultation have seen those sites removed from the draft, with residents being invited to have their say on the latest proposals.

The next stage of the Local Plan will see consultation run to February 9.

The Plan will guide planning decisions in the borough through to 2032 by allocating approved uses for specific sites and outlining the council’s policies on key issues – reducing the risk of uncontrolled developments being approved through the appeal process, such as Persimmon Homes’ scheme of 650 homes on land east of Station Road, Wallsend, despite council and local objection.

Coun John Harrison, cabinet member for the environment, said: “The fact that we have lost another major planning appeal reinforces the message that we need the Local Plan as soon as possible.

“The current situation weakens our ability to make key decisions locally.

“Having a Local Plan will give us far greater control over our own future, but equally in the wake of ongoing government cuts, will allow us and our partners to be proactive in planning for and delivering key priorities.”

The draft plan sought views on 110 potential development sites, with the new Plan setting out how the borough will accommodate 10,000 new homes plus deliver on the Council Plan priorities including supporting employment and investment, with land allocated for employment purposes at the new Indigo Park, the North Bank of the Tyne Enterprise Zone, land at the A19 corridor and Quorum Business Park.

There will be no requirement for any development on the Green Belt land. An extensive network of wildlife corridors is also incorporated in the plan.

Housing numbers have been reduced on the two proposed strategic development sites – if development should be allowed on sites at Murton it would be 3,000 properties instead of 5,000, and Killingworth Moor earmarked for 2,000 homes instead of 2,461.

Coun Harrison added: “As this plan will affect all our residents, it’s vital that they are again given every available opportunity to know about the proposals and have their say on how the borough will grow.”

Through until the end of March there will be numerous opportunities for people to have their say.

Each household will receive a leaflet explaining the proposals, there will be a number of engagement opportunities and informal drop in events available for the public to find out about the proposals, and give feedback.

Everyone who has previously submitted a comment on the plan will receive a letter inviting them to comment further.

The feedback received during the consultation period will be considered and contribute to a Final Publication Local Plan, that is likely to go the Council for approval in July.

In August the Local Plan would be published and a further formal pre-submission engagement process carried out.

The Local Plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State in November with the likely Examination in Public, before a government inspector, likely to take place in February and March next year with the aim that the final Plan will be adopted in the Summer of next year.