Newcastle First Hits Out at Labour & Lib Dem Housing Plan

Newcastle First Hits Out at Labour & Lib Dem Housing Plan

Newcastle’s only independent political party has this week submitted its response to the Newcastle and Gateshead One Core Strategy. The strategy proposes large scale housing development in the Outer West of the city.

The Newcastle upon Tyne Community First Party’s has raised a number of concerns about the development strategy including:

  • Greenbelt land should not be built on. Newcastle First believes that a desire to build more houses does not represent the ‘exceptional’ circumstances demanded for greenbelt land to be built on.
  • Brownfield development needs to be prioritised ahead of greenfield developments. No greenfield development should be permitted until brownfield sites have been exhausted. Newcastle First has also called for the council to be clearer about how it defines greenfield and brownfield sites in future consultations.
  • Schools and healthcare facilities will not be able to cope with the scale of development proposed. Newcastle First argues that it is difficult to have confidence in a plan that claims provision will be made for education and health facilities when it contained flaws such as a proposal to build on a school that is not surplus to requirements.
  • Road infrastructure in the Outer West of the city will not be able to deal with the increased volume of traffic caused by 46% increase in the number of houses. Newcastle First argues that the decision to revive the controversial West Road scheme will have a massive impact on the existing road network even without a massive increase in the number of cars on the road that the development plan proposes.

Jason Smith said: “The current plan includes large-scale development on sites that residents consider to be greenfield where development is unwelcome whilst cutting the number of houses proposed in areas where development would be welcomed such as Scotswood and Walker.

“A lot of the individual proposals in this planning strategy would be damaging on their own but together will be catastrophic. This is the planning equivalent of obesity. Forcing a massive increase on one side of the city while reducing the size of the artery roads running to the city centre is a heart attack waiting to happen.”

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