Green Belt ‘Garden Suburb’ planning appeal dismissed

July 10, 2015

As the Government’s ‘Productivity Plan’ was published incorporating a series of measures to accelerate the development of new housing on ‘brownfield’ sites, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government issued his decision dismissing an appeal concerning a proposed ‘garden suburb’ on a Green Belt site near Ponteland in Northumberland.

The proposal had been opposed by Northumberland County Council and the Ponteland Green Belt Group at a 9-day public inquiry held earlier this year.  Whilst the developer had contended that the scheme would be an ‘exemplar’ development that would help to revitalise the regional economy by providing executive housing for entrepreneurs and senior managers, the Secretary of State found that it would cause serious harm to the Green Belt as well as harm to the landscape and to the settings of three listed buildings whilst in other respects falling short of the ‘exemplar’ standard to which the developer aspired.  Whilst the Secretary of State found that the development would offer some benefits in planning terms he found that they were insufficient to outweigh the accompanying harm and that the very special circumstances needed to justify inappropriate development in the Green Belt had not been established.

The Ponteland Green Belt Group were represented at the inquiry by Peter Dixon of Exchange Chambers.