For all the latest news on the STOP campaign, please see our blog posts below. You can read more About Us and how the campaign got started; view photographs of the Proposed Sites; discover How To Help and find Diary Dates for upcoming events.
You can also interact with this web site by commenting on any of the news items below. This requires a quick & easy registration and your details will be held securely.
We hope you will find our web site useful and appreciate any help or feedback you may be able to give. We aim to update the site regularly so please keep checking back, or join our Email List to be notified of any campaign news.
It has been some time since our last communication not because we have gone away but simply because there hasn’t been much to report. However now there is some news.
The City council have decided to delay the outcome of the second round of consultations until 23 April 2013. This is the 3rd or maybe the 4th time they have postponed it. Presumably they feel that they have enough protest at the moment with their budget cuts proposals.
We also hear the arch proponent of the One Core strategy Henri Murison is leaving the Council.
One thing that is certain though is that whenever they report, and whoever is in charge, the S.T.O.P. campaign will be there to oppose these dreadful plans.
Thanks for your continuing support.
Email received via this web site from David Walsh:
Dear group, You are having problems with unwanted development. You are not alone. Individual areas are being picked off one by one. If we all fight our battles separately, we will all lose. The remedy is to bring people into contact with each other, so that they can share experience and skills. The “whosehomeisit” site lists groups by county, to help identify others close by, and we are adding more as we identify them. It also provides links to useful documents. I wish you every success, and a few groups have succeeded, at least for now. However, there are appeals, and there will always be the next application. We need to change the ground rules, so that we are not forever on the back foot. Epetition number 36049 aims to secure a debate in parliament to change planning policy. It needs more signatures to succeed than one group could possibly raise. However, there are hundreds of groups with similar issues. If we all sign, it becomes possible. If you agree, please sign the petition, and pass it on using all means to hand. Best regards, David Walsh
Click Here to view the latest edition of the WS+ Newsletter. Page 4: Council Cabinet member Henri Murison snubs public call for One Core Strategy housing summit debate – and how that could be a suicide move for Labour in the 2014 council elections. Plus: Campaign group that packs a big punch.
The local Councillors are doing a walkabout on Saturday 10th November along Hexham Road from the Frenchman’s to Coach road. They have leafleted the area inviting people to join them and discuss issues.
This is a prime opportunity to show them how much opposition there is to the One Core Strategy. It is worth noting that Pat has emailed them twice requesting a meeting date with STOP shortly after the outcome of the 2nd consultation – - no response.
The walkabout starts at the Frenchman’s at 10am. It is a little unclear how it will proceed, though it covers the area of interest to us and seems to extend to Coach Road. If you want to come but can’t get there for 10, you could ring Pat on her mobile number 07905858178 on the morning to find out where the walkabout has got to.
Last Friday, Idwal and Pat went to Catherine McKinnell’s surgery at the Grange in Throckley. As at other meetings, the MP was polite and very sympathetic especially over the implications of current problems at Millvale for future housing development.
She has put in her own contribution to the 2nd consultation, and like ourselves awaits the meeting on the 12th December (now twice postponed from earlier dates!) when the outcome will be reported.
At a recent meeting of the steering group we discussed the following:
- The recent flooding at Newburn and the effect that 500 new houses will have on Throckley Dene watercourse in the future. It was noted that the sealed surfaces will cause an increase in the drainage requirement since at the moment the fields hold back a considerable amount of water.
- Current concerns about the world shortage of food make the decision to sacrifice highly productive farmland quite unacceptable.
- The Olympic legacy initiative is totally at odds with the proposals to build on school fields.
- Recently acquired documents indicating that some of the fields in Throckley are within the Hadrian’s Wall world heritage buffer zone require more research.
- The recent events at Millvale in Newburn have led to an increase in traffic in Throckley and Walbottle and are an indication of future congestion.
- Our concerns about the danger of a road junction at the site of the demolished Fernview house, and Hexham road were waved away by the Council officers. Presumably similar assurances were given in relation to building in Millvale.
- New concerns are rising about the increase in CO2 emissions near the school, and the access pavement along Hexham road.
We considered ways of advancing these and other arguments and noted the following possibilities:
- Ward Committee Meetings-keeping the campaign on the agenda
- Letters to the Press
- Lobbying Greenwich again.
- Website –pushing up the Nos signing the “on line petition” using Facebook to “Share” items and news. Putting on more material e.g. photos and comments.
The next important event where demonstrative action would be appropriate will be the council cabinet meeting which discusses the outcome of the second round consultation. Date to be circulated
If there is anything that you can add please get in touch.
Please Click Here to view the October edition of the WS+ newsletter. Page 2: More Housing Woe? – Labour Cabinet defer review of One Core Strategy and why city’s two main regeneration sites will not supply Labour’s fantasy annual new homes target. Plus: Labour’s over-hyped £25million Future Homes Fund has only £94,000 and new Council Tax may have to feed it.
Click here for the latest WS+ newsletter with consultation analysis. Content includes:
Page 1: Growing Storm – Labour council’s guesswork jigsaw puzzle on Core Strategy housing infuriates city protest groups. Plus: Labour will pick new council chief.
Page 2: Public Backlash – Nearly nine in 10 responses are against One Core Strategy and Labour’s Let’s Talk consultation stunts. Plus: Labour Cabinet’s dodgy Let’s Talk trip to Walker.
Page 3: Do It My Way – Labour Leader inflicts his political policies on charities and firms seeking council contracts – and reveals council staff will be switched to new employers to help run his co-operative community services. Plus: Has Labour’s co-op schools plan flopped?
Page 4: Changing Care Services – Council contracts for home-care providers halved and re-shaped into city zones and big revamp for dementia services. Plus: Two political parties share council power to save taxpayers money.
Some questions being asked by the Gosforth group over the proposed bypass:
Dear Councillor Murison,
With regard to the above, you made various statements, which were quoted in The Newcastle Journal of September 6th. As a result, we would like answers to the following questions:
1. You are quoted as saying that “Whatever happens, there will be massive investment in public transport here.” As you have used the word ‘massive’, you clearly have some idea of the scale of that investment, and who would provide it.
(a) How much investment is proposed for public transport?
(b) Who will pay for that investment? Will it come from the government, council tax payers, or developers?
2. Both the Newcastle Journal and the Evening Chronicle the night before referred to the possibility of a sixty million pound road west of the present A1, and that it would be paid for by developers. You are also quoted as saying “There will have to be expansion in the west, and that means we prepare for it, not just with this road, which will have to come first…”
Read the rest of this entry »
Things have been a bit quiet but now some reaction from the Council. You might have already seen their e-mail below.
They say 600 communications so far. We assume the Gosforth people are now out so it’s Callerton and us. If so, this sounds good and something is clearly getting to them or they wouldn’t be putting on extra sessions. Perhaps they feel they are not winning the argument?
I’m sure that our letters are having an effect and we urge you to push at every opportunity to increase the number of letters. Although we should press them at every question and answer session, only determined opposition will prevail and there is every prospect for success.
North Tyneside Council have just been turned down planning permission for development at Holystone near to Rising Sun Country Park, despite officers recommendation”.
So we fight on.
EMAIL FROM NEWCASTLE CITY COUNCIL (Henri Murison):
Planning Newcastle ’s Future – Consultation Events
The city needs more homes, we need to make sure they are the right type and in the right place where people want to live and at the right prices people can afford, whilst making sure the environment of our city is protected for our future generations who will also need places to live.
Consultation on the proposed changes to the One Core Strategy and Urban Core Area Action Plan report and the community infrastructure preliminary draft charging schedule will close on 13 September 2012. To date we have hosted fourteen events across the city to engage with local residents and businesses their views on the plans. Hundreds of you have got involved and attended an event. Over 600 have submitted views to the Council so far and much of this reinforces what was said through previous rounds of consultation.
Read the rest of this entry »
If you are interested to see the account of the Walbottle public meeting, which will stay in the memory of those who attended for a long time, look at the July issue of Walker Spy which also has other interesting revelations about the Council’s plans for the future.
The second consultation phase has seen a lot of effort put in by campaigners in Throckley. Standard letters were delivered to nearly 2000 homes and we hope that many residents will complete and send these in to the Council.
Many people helped in this task, and thanks go to Dorothy, Helen, Nancy, Jane, Kevin, Anne, Angeline and family, Jim, Caroline, Eric, Ian, Wendy and Wendy’s neice.
The phase ends formally on September 13th and we plan to have a coffee morning shortly after that to catch up after the summer.
Pat registered a formal complaint with the Council regarding the consultation phase, and has received a reply from Steve Parks, Head of Communication and Marketing. There is not an avenue to take this further other than to ask for a review by the Council’s Corporate complaints Officer, which Pat is preparing. The Local government Ombudsman does not deal with general issues. only those that have a specific consequence for an individual.
1) As part of our campaign we have produced, for every house in Throckley, a standard letter objecting to the proposals for sites 4944 and 4945, together with an envelope already addressed with the Council Freepost address, and a brief attachment which includes the STOP contact details and asks people to put their names and addresses together with an individual comment on the standard letter before posting.
Several volunteers have helped in the production task of 2000+ letters and in the distribution! Many thanks.
2) The sincerity of the Council’s consultation process is a matter of public interest. Many people have observed that it seems designed NOT to inform.
Pat McGee has registered a formal complaint under the Council’s complaints procedure. Pat is compiling a dossier of examples of the deliberately misleading information material, including the CityLife 4-page extract. If you have any examples please get in touch with Pat by clicking HERE or calling 0191 264 2688.
Newcastle City Council have recently published a report called THE STRATEGIC LAND REVIEW -PART 2 (SLR) on phase 1 of their consultations with the public about the ONE CORE STRATEGY, and Throckley has been identified as a: village growth area!
The full implication of some of the details is becoming clearer, not least by the statement that the preferred access to site 4944 (530 houses proposed) is through Fernhill House on Hexham road at the Bank Top. To gain access to site 4944 the proposal is to build on half of Throckley Primary School playing field-houses plus an access road (site 4945). This in itself is contentious! The implications for the whole village if this goes ahead are momentous.
In practice, the first phase of development of sites 4945 and 4944 would be to build the road through Fernhill, so that all construction and material traffic would be using Hexham road and the new junction required. This traffic could enter the village from the A69 by-pass along Ponteland Road, from Newcastle on the West Road, from the south along Newburn Road, or from the west through Heddon!! THE WHOLE VILLAGE WILL BE AFFECTED. The stated date for the completion of this development is 2030, hence 18 years!!
Our Campaign is stepping up a gear in response to the intransigence of the council.
Every home in Throckley is soon receiving a model letter through the door, with an invitation to sign it and send it to the Civic Centre.
You may wish of course to write your own personal letter stressing your particular concerns.
Clearly a massive response is needed to get our opposition through to them. Please encourage everyone and everybody to participate.
Electronic copies are available by clicking HERE.
We are often told that there are still many people in the area unaware of the proposals and of the nightmare that they will bring. After this exercise we hope that nobody will underestimate the devastating effect on our community.
Thanks for your continued support.
MP for Newcastle North, Catherine McKinnell is holding a surgery on:
6th July, 11am: The Grange Centre, Newburn Road, Throckley, NE15 9AF.
She has been helpful in the last round and we need to gain her support again. Are you able to go to see her? It would be good for her to see some new faces promoting our campaign.
Also, our local Councillors are holding their next surgery on:
14th July, 10am: Walbottle Institute, Walbottle Road, Walbottle, NE15 8HY.
Please press them to support us.
There was anger and disarray at the meeting on the revised proposals for the One Core Strategy on 26/6/2012 at Walbottle School.
The shambles started before the meeting even began with the participants having to negotiate through battalions of pupils attending the Schools Summer ball! Some residents have reported that they were unable to get to the meeting as a result of the congestion.
More importantly Council bosses had seriously underestimated the outrage felt by residents and sought to impose a straightjacket on the meeting.
It was clear from the outset that The Council, represented by Councillor Henri Murison, and officers led by Harvey Emms, Director of Planning, have a vision of how consultations should work:
First, Make any notifications to the public as bland and vague as possible so no-one will notice the importance of the issue e.g. Produce the notices to go in libraries, notice boards etc, smaller than A4 size and head them “Lets Talk”.
Second, Stage manage the meeting in such a way as to stifle difficult questions and impose a formula which attempts to divert people from the issues they really want to discuss.
This strategy completely fell apart at Walbottle on Tuesday, where right from the start angry comments were expressed at the imposition of a “workshop” arrangement where people sat at tables with council officer “facilitators” who attempted to frame the discussion along the lines laid out.
The Consultation meeting with representatives from Newcastle City Council is tomorrow, Tuesday June 26th at Walbottle High School at 6-8pm.
Our feeling is that the decision makers are more interested in “telling” us rather than “listening” to us. Nevertheless we have produced a sheet (attached) that we think should help call them to account. Our real hope is that they will respond to the sheer weight of opposition, so please attend and try to persuade as many others to come as possible.
Also since our last meeting,
- An extra 76 people have signed our online petition.
- We have sent a press release to the Journal.
We plan to follow the Consultation meeting with a model letter of objection and leaflet with the intention to put it through every door in the area. The draft will be circulated via email and the website for additions / amendments before it is published. We will also hold another meeting in a few weeks time
Please show your support by attending tomorrow’s meeting.
Meeting Date: Monday 18th June
This meeting had been arranged at fairly short notice as concern had been raised by Council reports published online, leading into the 2nd Consultation on the One Core Strategy.
As we all know, despite having the third largest number of opposing comments, no change has been made to the housing proposals for Throckley, with some reduction in the Walbottle proposals.
Our Councillors were unable to attend this meeting and around 50 residents were alarmed at the following:
- A report to the Council recently which analyses sites still in the plan for housing development includes possible access options of significance to the village and the clear implication that Greenwich hospital Trust, the landowners of the large site already in the plan, have longer term plans to sell further areas of adjacent land leading West to Heddon.
- The content of this report and other complex documents is known to the Planning Officers and presumably Councillors, but it is left to vigilant residents to spot it and raise questions about it.
- The action group opposing the housing proposals (STOP) is well known to Councillors and like other action groups has been involved since the launch of the One Core Strategy – however no attempt was made to alert the group to the new documents
- Meanwhile Newburn Councillors are meeting Greenwich representatives without any commitment to taking back the outcomes to residents.
Further action is planned for the Consultation phase starting on June 20th and will be reported on the website. June 26th is the date for the Council consultation meeting at Walbottle High School and this will be an opportunity to push for answers and demonstrate your opposition.
- Possible compulsory property purchases in Drove road area.
- Further building behind Hexham Road?
- Larger junction proposed at Fernhill.
The S.T.O.P. campaign is holding a meeting on Tuesday 19th June 6-7 p.m. at:
THROCKLEY COMMUNITY HALL (behind Victoria Terrace)
A recent Council report assessing the viability of the School playing field (site 4945) and the fields to the west of the brickworks (site 4944) regarding access reads as follows:-
“The preferred access to site 4944 is the south via a new junction with Hexham road and through site of Fernhill House (recently acquired by Greenwich Hospital trust and part of site of Throckley primary School (subject to negotiation with Newcastle City Council). As a minimum a 10 to 15 metre strip along the western boundary of site 4945 could unlock development of site 4944 but preferably more to allow development to front onto access.
As a fallback position, it may be possible to either upgrade Drove Road to the west or create a new access further to the west, through land also in the ownership of Greenwich hospital Trust and in respect of which it has longer term aspirations for housing development. Both options are likely to require acquisition of existing properties and would be more remote from the centre of the village”
The implications of this MUST be put to Planning officers and local Councillors during the 2nd consultation stage which starts on the 20th and includes public meetings and drop in sessions.
PLEASE ATTEND OUR MEETING – THE REMOVAL OF SALTERS LANE AND PART OF CALLERTON MAKES THROCKLEY MORE VULNERABLE
ACTION IS NECESSARY NOW!!