Our view on the future of Newcastle-under-Lyme
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council should not set housing targets in excess of those required by the Government’s New Standard Method to reduce development pressure on green spaces.
Our response to the council’s Local Plan Issues & Options consultation urges the council to look closely at the available brownfield sites and take account of historic and future likely windfall rates before deciding on the amount of greenfield land to be allocated for development. CPRE’s policy position is that local authorities in areas constrained by Green Belt should not set planning targets for levels of growth beyond that which can be accommodated without harm to the Green Belt.
We feel that the ‘vision’ for Newcastle-under-Lyme is rather disappointing. It is too limited, lacks imagination and is too insular. For example, there is no emphasis on providing high-quality affordable sustainable housing or objectives to improve existing housing stock that does not meet standards on heating and insulation; the relationship between Newcastle and adjacent areas, such as the Potteries, isn’t given enough consideration, and there should be more of a ‘brownfield first’ approach.
We have major concerns about the allocation of a strategic employment site in the Green Belt (AB2) that would see agricultural land, quiet lanes and footpaths turned into huge warehouses. We also stated that site KL15 – Land to the south and east of new development site, Keele University, should not be considered for Green Belt release.