Garden village a step closer
PLANS ARE GIVEN ‘OUTLINE’ PERMISSION
THOUSANDS of new jobs could be created as plans for a 2,000-home garden village scheme in Northumberland move a step closer.
Newcastle’s Lugano Developments Ltd wants to build housing and other facilities on land at Dissington, near Ponteland.
The scheme could create more than 2,000 jobs on site, a further 3,600 construction jobs and see around £90m of private investment in the county’s infrastructure, the developer said.
The plans were granted “outline” planning permission by Northumberland County Council, approving it in principle.
But the proposals faced strenuous opposition from campaigners who claim the large number of homes will swamp roads, schools and other services.
The campaigners say the village cannot cope with the massive increase in population the new homes would bring.
Richard Robson, chairman of Lugano Developments Ltd, said: “We’ve had positive meetings about improvements it will make to the infrastructure and roads like the A696.
“We had a meeting with the airport just last week to go through the finer details.
“We hope to have the final few details signed off in the next few weeks then hopefully work with the council to take it forward.”
Newcastle City Council and Newcastle Airport have both been consulted over the plans.
A Newcastle City Council spokesman said: “We raised some concerns with the original application when it was presented to Northumberland’s planning committee back in March.
“We have recently been consulted on the revised application and will be responding in due course.
“We would be willing to discuss the matter with Lugano but have not had any recent discussions with the company.”
A Newcastle Airport spokesman said: “We can confirm that we are in discussions with Lugano regarding the proposed Dissington garden village and these talks are ongoing.” In April this year around 200 people gathered for a protest against the plans.
Lugano said around 600 of the properties will be affordable and there will be starter homes and supported housing for the elderly. Retail, sports and medical facilities are also part of the plans, while there would be 130 hectares of public open space with sports pitches, parkland and walking and cycle routes.
Mr Robson said: “The Government budget has increased national housing targets once again, reflecting the broad consensus that more homes are desperately needed for younger generations.
“The decision by the county council to give Dissington the green light is therefore in tune with national policy as well as with local public opinion.
“It will be an exceptional new community with a significant amount of new jobs.
“We are hoping to make a start during the late part of the next year.”
It will be an exceptional new community with a significant amount of new jobs Richard Robson, Lugano Developments Ltd
Artist’s impression of Ponteland Garden Village