Save Woolsington Woods, Newcastle's green belt and wildlife from developers, demand Lib Dems

June 20, 2015 4:36 PM
The Liberal Democrats in Newcastle have thrown their weight behind plans to save Woolsington Woods.
Cllr Anita Lower, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr David Down and other City Councillors have lodged objections on behalf of local people, which means that she will not be able to take part in the Planning Committee decision on Friday this week.
Anita said : "Woolsington Hall is situated in the Green Belt and was not included as a potential development site in the recently adopted One Core Strategy. It is a Grade II listed building set in a Grade II listed parkland and is covered by numerous National and Local policies aimed at preserving and protecting building of historical value.
"This site was not put forward during the consultation to be included in the Strategy for housing: therefore it has not been subject to the assessment applied to green Belt sites in the selection process.
"In the preparation of the final One Core Strategy Document Woolsington Village was not considered sustainable as a "Village Growth area" and it was not included as a neighbourhood growth area with Kenton Bank Foot.
"A smaller development of 20 houses on the Cowell Nursery site was rejected on ground of lack of local services.
"This is overdevelopment in the Green Belt, and there are no exceptional circumstances to ignore the policy.There are in the one core strategy plans for thousands of homes in the immediate area including an extra 1250 to the west of the Newcastle Great Park and 700 on the west of Dinnington Road adjacent to Woolsington Hall, as well as developments at Bank Foot.
"I can see no justification for enabling development, by, for instance, felling woodland, especially when we are talking about a building which has been in control of the company for a number of years and they have allowed the property to deteriorate over that time, and of the large number of high-priced properties
"The preservation of green space is vital; if the open space is not retained then we are contemplating an urban sprawl from Kingston Park to Ponteland.
"Finally this development does not talk about infrastructure but Newcastle City Council is already well aware of the strain on local roads and retail centres such as Kingston Park, as well as the complete lack of school places in all adjacent schools including Ponteland."
David Down said : "We have a wildlife corridor to the north of Newcastle in which this site is an important link. Wildlife is under assault from all directions. The green belt habitat for plants, birds and animals is one of the distinctive features of the city of Newcastle, and it must be preserved, especially when its development is not sanctioned in the One Core Strategy. The enrichment of a neglectful owner through wholesale destruction should not be tolerated."