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Victory for campaign!

2nd March 2012

Land next to the Nature Reserve has been removed from a list of sites available to building firms for expansion. Leaders  have backed down on green belt building plans, Newcastle Council bosses have agreed to revise plans for 21,000 new homes over the next two decades, with 2,000 fewer green belt buildings.
On large sections of land around Callerton Park the number of homes likely to be built has been reduced by 1,000 from what could have been built by 2030.
But to offset these changes, officers will look at the expansion of Newcastle Great Park and the bringing into use of city centre Grainger Town flats previously used for business space.
The council will also look at turning land set aside for business park use at Newburn Haugh into housing land.
However, officers have warned that since much of this land was prepared with EU aid there may be legal issues to tackle first.
Much of the funding for the brownfield plans comes from a new £25m fund set up by the council following much-repeated claims that leaders had not exhausted inner-city sites.
Henri Murison, Newcastle’s cabinet member overseeing the plans, said he was happy to be able to say the council had listened to residents’ concerns.
He said: “Throughout the core strategy process I was very struck by the strength of feeling there was from the public, and I think these changes answer the test I set from the start, that despite the challenges we should be judged on how we have listened, and I think it is clear here that we have done so.”
He added: “I certainly wish we could build more of our houses on brownfield sites, but this process is not finished, there will be further changes to the plans and further consultation.”
The changes follow months of protests against joint plans by Newcastle and Gateshead to create one planning document setting out where firms can and can’t build by 2030.
Council bosses have said without such a document, which include the provision for thousands of green belt homes, developers would be able to build with even less consideration for local concerns.

Taken from an item ran by the Chronicle