Plans approved for 1,200 Newcastle homes on part-green belt site

Plans have been approved for a 1,200-home scheme on a 66 hectare site that lies partially in the green belt to the north west of Newcastle.

An artist's impression of plans for the latest phase at Newcastle Great Park.
An artist's impression of plans for the latest phase at Newcastle Great Park.

Plans for the two parcels of land, which form part of the Newcastle Great Park development, were described in a design and access statement as a "sustainable new community with a distinctive and high quality sense of place".

The Newcastle Great Park Consortium, a partnership between Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey, sought outline permission from Newcastle City Council for the homes plus a primary and secondary school, car parking, playing fields, public open space, and associated infrastructure.

The application proposes a minimum of 75 per cent family homes at a mix of densities, ranging from 18-38 dwellings per hectare to 25-50 dwellings per hectare. Officers said the applicant has agreed to the provision of 15 per cent affordable homes.

Planning committee members granted permission after officers advised that the plans complied with local and national planning policy.

However, the proposal prompted a large number of objections, including 450 letters of objection and a 2,700-signature online petition, with concerns including the loss of green belt land.

The report said that, while the first parcel of land is identified for development of up to 880 homes in the Newcastle and Gateshead core strategy, the second site is not allocated in the core strategy and is located in the green belt. 

However, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) allows changes of use of green belt land provided they "preserve its openness and do not conflict with the purposes of including land within it", the report said.  

Officers noted that the application proposed the use of green belt land for the provision of playing fields, adding: "The proposed change of use to outdoor sport and recreation is therefore appropriate development in principle in the green belt subject to consideration of effects on openness and the purposes of including land within it."

They concluded: "There will be no change to the green belt designation of the site as a result of the proposals."

According to the report, objections were received from organisations including the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Newcastle International Airport, North Tyneside Council, and Save Newcastle Wildlife.

Close to 450 letters of objection were also received and an online petition against the plans attracted 2,665 signatures, although officers noted 790 of these were from outside the UK.

Concerns were raised in relation to the green belt, the impact on wildlife and loss of open space, and traffic.

However, officers advised that the proposed development "would not be detrimental to highway safety" and "will not have an unacceptable impact on designated ecological sites and wildlife corridors".

In conclusion, officers said the proposal accords with the development plan and the NPPF.

"It is considered that the development would represent a sustainable form of development demonstrating a comprehensive, phased and coordinated approach to site development," they said.

Work has been taking place on the wider Newcastle Great Park project since at least 1998 when plans for an urban extension at the site were included in the local unitary development plan.

Prior to the most recent approval, permission had been granted for 2,932 homes, of which around 2,000 have been completed.

In September this year, plans were submitted for a 1,500-home scheme on the banks of the River Tyne in Newcastle.

Earlier this month, councillors approved plans for 900 homes on a site partially in the green belt on the edge of the city.

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