900 homes going to Callerton Park development as Green Belt damage already done
Approximately 900 homes are planned to be built at a large housing site in west Newcastle. Applicants were given approval to start the construction of the first 500 homes, two years following a 3,000-home masterplan was adopted.
Despite this masterplan being described as a disaster for the Green Belt, Newcastle City Council planning committee gave permission to Bellway Homes to start work on 198 homes in the Lower Callerton section of the site. Outline approval was also given for a further 702 houses, with reserved matters left for a later date.
Callerton was released from the Green Belt in 2015 to meet Newcastle’s growing need for housing, and plans have proved controversial with nearby residents. Whilst considering the merits of the application, Councillor Marion Williams argument was to inform the planning committee that since the land had been released and made available for development, the damage to the Green Belt “had already been done”, meaning that the latest housing plan had to be deemed acceptable.
In order to allay concerns, the cabinet member for employment, Councillor Ged Bell argued that this masterplan provided a way to sustain growth in the city by enabling people to move to the area, with facilities and benefits helping them to raise families. Included in these benefits are £1m of highway improvements, affordable housing, allotments and a subsidised bus service. In addition, the developers will be providing a reported £3.7 million to primary education establishments in proximity to the site and help fund a new sports centre. Whilst seemingly controversial on the face of it, this development clearly brings benefits that may well prove to justify its release from the Green Belt.