Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ryton and Crawcrook residents reject greenbelt building plans

Residents of Crawcrook, Greenside and Ryton have rejected proposals to build hundreds of houses on local greenbelt, according to a survey by local Liberal Democrat Councillors.

Gateshead Council have published proposals for 1,000 houses on countryside around the villages but local Lib Dem Councillors are battling against the building plans. They decided to carry out a survey of residents to test opinion on Gateshead’s plans.

Councillor Noel Rippeth said, “This is a very clear demonstration of public opinion which is massively against these proposals to build on local greenbelt. The character and nature of the villages here is under threat from these plans.

“We are urging Labour councillors to abandon them rather than push ahead with grabbing the greenbelt.”

Councillor Ione Rippeth said, “We know there is a need to build new houses but we should not wreck our countryside to achieve this goal. We should be using up brownfield sites rather than sending the bulldozers into the greenbelt.”

The results of the survey are as follows:


250 survey forms delivered, 107 completed and returned.

Question: Do you agree that 494 houses should be built in Crawcrook's Greenbelt?

Answer: Yes 4, No 103

Question: Do you think 494 houses is too many for the village?

Answer: Yes 97, No 10


300 survey forms delivered, 142 completed and returned.

Question: Do you agree that 505 houses should be built in Ryton's Greenbelt?

Answer: Yes 4, No 138

Question: Do you think that 505 houses is too many for the village?

Answer: 64 replied Yes, No 0

House-building threat to historic site

Proposals to build 800 houses on greenbelt between Whickham, Dunston and Lobley Hill in Gateshead could destroy important historic sites as well as the countryside, claims a local historian.

Dr Jonathan Wallace, who is also a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Gateshead, said the site being considered for the new housing is next to the Washingwell Roman fort which was discovered in 1970.

The only evidence for the existence of the fort so far discovered is crop marks and one small piece of pottery.

“Although the site of the Roman fort is not included in the area proposed for house-building, it is very close to it,” said Dr Wallace. “Most Roman forts attracted civilian settlements and as yet, no contemporary village has been found.

“There is a strong possibility that a Roman settlement and the road connecting the fort to others along the former Roman frontier are on the site proposed for house-building. These would all be lost if the site proposed for housing is given the go-ahead.

“At a time when we should be developing our cultural and historical sites as locations to draw in visitors, and therefore boost our tourist economy, building at this location will send us in the opposite direction.”

Sunday, January 01, 2012

North East Liberal Democrats welcome scheme to tackle metal theft

North East Liberal Democrats have welcomed a new scheme to tackle metal theft.

From Tuesday 3rd January a news scheme will be introduced requiring anyone selling scrap metal to a dealer to provide proof of identity and address. The scheme is being trialled in the North East and all 240 registered scrap merchants are expected to sign up to the scheme.

Cllr Frank Hindle said “Metal theft has been a huge problem, affecting the Metro and rail systems, individual homes and businesses - and sometimes whole streets have been systematically targeted. This scheme should choke off the ability of thieves to sell the stolen metal.

"Local Liberal Democrat councillors and Lib Dem MEP Fiona Hall have been pressing for action to tackle this problem and I am pleased that the government, police and the legitimate scrap industry are working together on this scheme. We will also continue to press for other changes, such as ending cash sales of scrap metal.”