PROTESTERS are celebrating after controversial plans to build 366 homes were rejected. North Tyneside Council’s planning committee voted to turn down an application by Bellway to build homes at Whitehouse Farm on land close to Newcastle’s Gosforth Park nature reserve.
More than 100 local residents who have campaigned fiercely against the plans packed out the council chamber.
The meeting followed a protest march on Sunday 15th April against the homes which would have been built close to Newcastle’s Gosforth Park nature reserve.
Young and old marched in protest carrying banners and waving placards, nearly 100 people walked from West Moor, in North Tyneside, to the Weetslade nature reserve to make their voices heard.
The committee was made aware of more than 1,000 letters of objection to the plans. Labour MPs Mary Glindon and Catherine McKinnell had also registered their opposition to the scheme.
A packed public gallery applauded as speakers against the development outlined their arguments to the committee.
James Littlewood, Director of the Natural History Society of Northumbria told councillors that after decades of building on greenfield land this was a development too far.
He added: “This development cannot fail to have a significant harmful impact on the wildlife next door in Gosforth Park Nature Reserve. This proposal goes against Government advice to create buffer zones around important wildlife sites to protect them from the worst impacts of people and pets.”
Nick Price, representing the West Moor Residents’ Association, told councillors of the strong feeling for the land in the local area.
He said: “This land is very precious to the people of West Moor and those of Killingworth, Burradon, Camperdown and further afield.”
North Tyneside Labour group leader Coun Jim Allan raised concerns about traffic and congestion problems that would arise from the development.
Nick Price, who was representing the West Moor Residents’ Association, said the group commended the council for its decision to turn down an “unsustainable development” and urged Bellway not to appeal.