Image demonstrating Final consultation on Local Plan gets underway

Final consultation on Local Plan gets underway

The final phase of public involvement in a new Local Plan for the whole of Northumberland starts today (Wednesday 30 January).

Residents, businesses, community and voluntary groups, town and parish town councils, and anyone with an interest in the future of Northumberland will be able to have their say.

Public consultation on this ‘publication draft’ plan will run for six weeks - until  Wednesday 13 March.

Unlike previous consultations, at this stage the council has to ask specific questions.  These are around whether the plan is ‘sound’, whether it is legal, whether it is an appropriate strategy and whether the council has worked with neighbouring authorities and other organisations to address strategic issues.

The local plan must comply with planning law and be in line with national planning policies.  It must also have been prepared using robust and credible evidence, have properly assessed the need for homes, jobs and infrastructure, and be able to demonstrate that the plan can be delivered.

The council welcomes comments in these areas - which are also the questions that the independent Planning Inspector will be asking as part of the examination later this year.  Guidance will be provided for respondents.

In order to provide maximum opportunity for people to find out more, ask questions about the plan, and receive advice on how to make comments the council has arranged 23 drop-in events at community venues right across the county.

The Local Plan includes all of the main planning policies for the county, and maps out where new homes will be built, new jobs created and new services provided.

It has been designed to grow and diversify the economy of Northumberland, and identifies measures to enable 15,000 new jobs to be created in the county by 2036.

Aiming to protect the Green Belt from new development and preserving the special qualities of Northumberland it will also identify where new homes will be built and where new services and infrastructure are needed to support communities.

Councillor Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council said:  “I’m delighted to launch this final consultation on the plan before it is submitted to Government, and encourage everyone to take a look and have their say.

“Through the plan we will make sure that Northumberland is a great place to live, work and visit, and that we truly address the future needs of our county.  We want to send a strong message that Northumberland has ambitious plans for growth, while also protecting everything that is special about the area.

“This plan is ambitious, and uses the latest evidence as an appropriate basis for its proposals. We are optimistic about the prospects for our county and we will make sure that Northumberland works for everyone and for all of our communities.

“We have been working very hard to prepare the new plan, using a number of measures to accelerate production - which have led to the final plan set to be in place by March 2020.”

Councillor John Riddle, cabinet member for housing, planning and resilience at the council added:  “Through this plan we are setting out clear policies on how we will meet the future economic and housing needs of the county.

“We want to see the right development in the right places.  We want to provide homes for all, and extend choice in the housing market, but are not proposing any new housing allocations in the Green Belt.

“This plan is our chance to help to shape the future of Northumberland.  I would urge people to come along to their local drop-in event, if they can, and find out more.  If you miss the event near you you can attend any of the others in the county.”

The publication draft plan, including an interactive map, are available on the council’s website  - where you will find details about drop-in events and how to respond to the consultation. An online form and guidance notes will help you to provide your feedback.

You can also view copies of the plan in libraries, customer information centres and council offices.

If you have queries you can email or call 0345 600 6400

Consultation closes at 5pm on Wednesday 13 March 2019.

Drop-in events will be held as follows:
Town Date   Time  Venue
Hexham  Wed 6 Feb 2pm - 7pm  Trinity Methodist Church, Beaumont Street
NE46 3LS
Allendale  Thur 7 Feb 2pm - 6pm  Library, Dawson Place NE47 9PP
Alnwick Sat 9
10am - 3pm St James Church Centre, Pottergate
NE66 1JW
Amble Mon 11 Feb 2pm - 7pm Development Trust Offices, Dilston Terrace NE65 0DT
Belford  Tues 12 Feb 2pm - 7pm Bell View, West Street NE70 7QB
Ashington  Wed 13 Feb 2pm -7pm Hirst Welfare Centre, Alexandra Road
NE63 9EL
Berwick-upon-Tweed Thu 14 Feb 2pm - 7pm William Elder Building, Castlegate TD15 1JT
Prudhoe Sat 16 Feb 10am - 3pm Bowls Pavilion Waterworld, Front St, Prudhoe, NE42 5DQ
Seaton Delaval  Mon 18 Feb 2pm - 7pm Parish Council Offices, Astley Road
NE25 0DG
Blyth Tue 19 Feb 2pm - 7pm Briardale Centre, Briardale Road  NE24 5AN
Haydon Bridge Wed 20 Feb   2pm - 7pm Community Centre, Ratcliffe Road
NE47 6ET
Bellingham Wed 20 Feb 2pm - 7pm Town Hall, Manchester Square NE48 2AS
Choppington Thu 21 Feb 2pm - 7pm  Social Welfare Centre, Colliery Road
NE62 5SS
Cramlington Sat 23 Feb 10am - 3pm  Concordia Leisure Centre, Forum Way
NE23 6YB
Morpeth  Mon 25 Feb 2pm - 7pm  Morpeth Town Hall, Market Place NE61 1LZ
Ponteland  Tue 26 Feb  2pm - 7pm  Memorial Hall, Darras Road NE20 9NX
Bedlington Wed 27 Feb 2pm - 7pm Community Centre, Front Street West
NE22 5UB
Rothbury Thu 28 Feb  2pm - 7pm  Jubilee Hall, Bridge Street NE65 7SD
Haltwhistle  Sat 2 Mar  10am - 3pm  Library, Westgate NE49 0AX
Wooler  Mon 4 Mar  2pm - 7pm  Cheviot Centre, Padgepool Place NE71 6BL
Seahouses Tue 5 Mar  2pm - 7pm Sports & Community Centre, Stone Close NE68 7YL
Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Wed 6 Mar  2pm - 7pm  Sports & Community Centre, Woodhorn Rd NE64 6HG
Corbridge Thu 7 Mar   2pm - 7pm Parish Hall, St Helen’s Street NE45 5BQ

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