Archive for June, 2012
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!!