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Over-development in Newcastle - beats Government target, twice the City Council's own one

September 23, 2021 8:39 PM
Cllr Greg Stone 2019The Government's decision to suspend controversial planning reforms, which would have seen a presumption in favour of housebuilding in so-called housing growth areas like the north-west of Newcastle, and the removal of the right of objection to planning applications in such areas, is welcome says Cllr Greg Stone for the Liberal Democrats Opposition in the City.
However, he's uncomfortable with the City Cabinet Member for Development's selective interpretation of Newcastle City Council's recent record on housing development on greenfield sites and his attempt to pose as a champion of local communities in resisting over-development in Newcastle, as reported in the Evening Chronicle.
The Conservative Government set Newcastle a target of 28,000 new homes over the next twenty years, and the Planning White Paper would have sought to increase that. According to the Government, Newcastle should be delivering around 1400 new homes a year. This is significantly greater than the city council's Local Plan's identified housing requirement for 850 new homes a year over the period.
So how many have been actually been built in the city in recent years, given significant and not especially sustainable housing growth across remaining greenfield areas of the north west of Newcastle in locations like Callerton, the Great Park, Dinnington, and Hazlerigg?
According to planning consultants Lichfields, Newcastle has actually built an average of 1867 new homes a year over the past three years. Not only is that far more than the Government target, it's more than double the council's own target.
Far from being a heroic leader of the resistance, the Cabinet member and his colleagues are responsible for over-delivery of over-development. The Liberal Democrats Opposition believes a more sustainable approach is urgently needed which focuses on social and affordable housing and sustainable neighbourhoods with integral cycling, walking and public transport links, not sprawling car-dominated "Council Tax farms".