Wednesday 20 March 2013

New Ridley: Final Thoughts

I have just returned from a very good meeting organised and run by the Parish Council to update residents on the New Ridley plans. The Parish Council will be submitting a very strong statement of objection to the plans, listing several major planning criteria that the application clearly fails to meet.

If you haven't already done so, please write a letter of objection (see here for relevant dates, address, and sample text).

Even if you don't live in New Ridley itself and think that it won't affect you in Stocksfield, Mickley, or Riding Mill, consider this: the New Ridley application proposes to develop green belt land. If this application gets approval then it is likely that further applications will follow. The first would probably be to extend the New Ridley development to the original planned 55 dwellings.

But if that doesn't seem bad enough, the second consequence could be proposals to build on the fields opposite Broomley First School. Those fields are extensive and could potentially accommodate hundreds of houses. It causes me great concern to think of the impact that would have, not only on Stocksfield immediately, but also on the surrounding villages of Mickley and Riding Mill in terms of the increased traffic volumes on the A695. This road, which runs through the heart of all three settlements is already very busy, and large scale development would only make the situation worse.

I hope the planners will reject this application on the grounds that it demonstrably fails to conform to existing major planning policies. The more objections that individual residents can send, the stronger the message the planning officers will have. Stop this development a) because it is simply a bad opportunistic proposal and b) to stop even worse developments down the line. Please, get writing and get your objection lodged.

Saturday 9 March 2013

New Ridley Latest

On 4 March the planning application for the proposed development at New Ridley went public (you can view the planning application and comment on it online here). There will be a public meeting at SICA (the Stocksfield community centre) starting at 7.30 p.m. on 20 March. Recall that this is a large development (22 houses in a village of 55 dwellings) in a location with no amenities. I shall be writing a letter of objection which I will post up here.

In the meantime I would urge you to make your own representations to the Council by writing to:
                Planning Department
                Northumberland County Council
                County Hall
                Morpeth NE61 2EF

The Planning Reference is: 12/03471/FUL

Two things to point out.
  • First, the deadline is tight and your letters need to be submitted by 5 April (following advertisement in last week's Hexham Courant) 25th March (not 16 March as the original notifications advised).
  • Second, if you are objecting to the plans, please make sure you state clearly on your letter that it is a letter of objection otherwise it may just be recorded as a representation only.

UPDATE: Here is the text of a letter of objection I have sent to the County Council.

Friday 1 March 2013

What development?

There sure is a lot of proposed development in the pipeline for ours and surrounding areas. First there's the opencast mine over in Whittonstall. Within our immediate area are the proposals for 22 houses in New Ridley and the Parish-council led plan to build some affordable housing in Stocksfield which is linked to the Parish plan.

Most planned developments raise issues and, invariably, objections. Judging by the mood of the meeting in Snod's Edge in January there is very strong feeling against the opencast mine, and not just amongst the residents of Whittonstall who will feel the immediate impact. Likewise, there is a groundswell of objection (and some incredulity) surrounding the plans to increase the size of New Ridley.

However, when it comes to the Parish Council's plans, feelings are not so one-sided. Indeed the proposal has attracted quite a lot of local support, not least because it has come from within the community rather than being dropped on us from a speculative developer from outside the areas. But there are also some who feel very strongly that the development should not go ahead. Various reasons for opposing the plan have been suggested to me from the effect on local wildlife (especially the otters) to concerns that the new buildings might have an adverse effect on the Guessburn's ability to flood when necessary leading to possible damaging erosion of its banks. At the moment I am interested to hear people's views on this proposal.

Please feel free to comment below either on the Guessburn development or on the other plans mentioned above. If you'd prefer to get in touch another way please see how on the Contacts page.