Attack on Our Green Space is Unforgivable
The Newcastle upon Tyne Community First Party has today launched a campaign to save the Green Belt in the West and North West of the city. Newcastle City Council has proposed a new Callerton Park development of up to 6,500 houses stretching from Walbottle to Woolsington and a new road linking the A69 and A696 to bypass the Western Bypass.
The Newcastle upon Tyne Community First Party estimates that this, and other developments, will increase the number of houses in the Outer West by more than 30% and therefore see an increase of a third in the population and the number of cars on the road. Newcastle First campaigners have been talking to local residents about the proposals in the core strategy and many people have expressed concern about the prospect of years of misery as new utilities are installed and the new roads and houses built. Of the residents who expressed a view, only one resident backed the plan.
Party leader Jason Smith (pictured at Lemington Rise next to another site threatened by Labour and Lib Dem development blueprint) said: “Residents of the Outer West are very angry about the plan to concrete over the Green Belt. Many people bought their houses because of their proximity to the Green Belt and the council has caused significant upset by its decision to asset strip it. They believe -
“In response to concerns expressed to us by local residents, the Newcastle Community First Party has made it clear that we do not consider the Labour and Lib Dem ambition to attract large numbers of people into Newcastle does not meet the criteria of ‘exceptional circumstances’ for development on the Green Belt.
“Although the council has released a wide range of documents to support its case, it is light on detail about how it will manage the impact of a massive population increase on local schools. Indeed, former school sites that may well be needed in the future if these plans are approved, are also proposed for development.
“The core strategy misses a big opportunity to bring the Metro system to the Outer West from the North through the proposed Callerton Park development. It is clear that the ambition to bulldoze the Green Belt is not matched by an ambition to improve and integrate the transport infrastructure in the Outer West of Newcastle.
“The core strategy was started and developed by Lib Dems and signed off behind closed doors by Labour. The six week consultation is disgraceful for a plan as important as the core strategy and suggests that the only views that count are those who support their outrageous plans. Labour’s new bargain for Newcastle seems to be back to the bad old days where the council knows best.
“The fight to save our Green Belt begins today. We will take every opportunity to challenge Labour’s decision to sell out to the vested interests who want to asset strip our Green Belt.”
Newcastle First Party has been refused permission to reproduce the development map so local people can understand the scale of the development. Jason added: “We may not have been permitted to print the map but we are working hard to make it available to local people. In the coming weeks, we will be asking questions about why the council have decided to produce a map that is protected by copyright.”