Along with a number of other local residents, I attended the recent meeting at Stocksfield Golf Club about the proposal to build 55 houses in the middle of New Ridley. Since then, I have knocked on nearly every door in the village and spoken to many residents. It is clear that most local people do not want this development to happen and I agree entirely.
I was dismayed by the attitude of those promoting the development. It is not acceptable to refer to local people as NIMBYs (as it was reported to me that they did) and it is indicative of their lack of respect that the questionnaire they distributed repeatedly referred to New Ridley and Stocksfield as Longframlington!
Like many in the area, I am not opposed to any and all development, but any growth should be gradual and organic. As the local parish council has shown recently it is entirely possible to come up with a plan for low cost housing development that is in sympathy with the local environment and which has the support of the community. In contrast, this development would almost double the size of the village and fundamentally change it for residents forever and irrevocably. As any New Ridley resident will tell you, the village has insufficient amenities to support such large and rapid growth. There are problems with water drainage and mains water supply, broadand provision is poor, there are no shops, and (beyond a single weekly bus to Hexham) there is no bus service. Broomley first school in Stocksfield is at capacity. Add to all that the pressures an extra 100 or so cars will put on an already crowded New Ridley road, and I can see nothing of merit in this proposal.
Today I hand-delivered a letter to residents of New Ridley outlining my objections to the development and inviting them to sign a petition of opposition which I will submit to Northumberland County Council. If you want to sign the petition a copy is also available in the Dr Syntax Pub in New Ridley. This is just the first step in telling the council and the developer that we do not want these houses to be built.
I am sure the parish council will also be working strenuously to oppose this development as and when formal plans are submitted by the developer to the county council.