Joint core strategy backed by inspector in interim findings

A strategic planning blueprint jointly developed by Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council has received the backing of a planning inspector.

Newcastle: inspector's interim findings published (image: Dave A, Flickr)
Newcastle: inspector's interim findings published (image: Dave A, Flickr)

In interim findings published today, inspector Martin Pike said that the Planning for the Future Core Strategy and Urban Core Plan for Gateshead and Newcastle upon Tyne had satisfied the Localism Act's duty to cooperate and added that the plan's overall spatial strategy is sound.

"The scale of new homes, jobs and employment land are justified by the evidence," the inspector's document said. "The distribution of this scale of development … is broadly supported."

The plan is intended to set out a framework for growth in Gateshead and Newcastle from 2010 to 2030.

The document proposes that, on the basis of projected population increase and changes in household size in Gateshead and Newcastle there is a need to plan for approximately 30,000 new homes, excluding purpose-built student accommodation.

The document proposes that 60 per cent of new private housing across the plan area should be suitable for and attractive for families, "with a minimum target of 16,000 new homes to have three or more bedrooms".

All developments of 15 or more dwellings would be required to provide 15 per cent affordable homes subject to development viability, the document states.

The inspector said in his interim findings that he "broadly supported" the councils' proposals to develop on green belt land.

The councils are now consulting on a set of proposed modifications to the plan. The consultation closes on 4 January 2015.

The modifications to the core strategy document state that Gateshead and Newcastle attach "great importance" to the green belt, "however, the boundary is drawn tightly around the urban and village edge. It is considered that in order to meet our objectively assessed needs for housing and employment there is an exceptional circumstance to alter the boundaries".

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