Following an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote at a local referendum in September, the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan has now been ‘made’ by Northumberland County Council, bringing it into legal force.

The neighbourhood plan is now part of the statutory development plan for the Ponteland parish, and decisions on planning applications there must be made in accordance with the policies in the plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

The Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan is the fourth neighbourhood plan in Northumberland to be ‘made’, following Allendale in July 2015, Morpeth in May 2016 and Alnwick and Denwick in July 2017.

The Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan referendum took place on Thursday 28th September and all residents of the parish who are registered to vote were able to have their say.

Overall, 2,730 people voted, comprising 29.5% of the registered electors. With only 101 people voting ‘no’, there was a majority ‘yes’ vote of 96.3% in favour of making the neighbourhood plan.

The plan was prepared by Ponteland Town Council through its neighbourhood plan steering group, with support from Northumberland County Council’s planning officers.

Councillor John Riddle, cabinet member for planning at Northumberland County Council said: “The planning policy framework in Northumberland is being strengthened by the adoption of neighbourhood plans like this one.

“This is the fourth plan to be made and there are around 20 others in various stages of preparation across the county.  The council is pleased to provide significant support to local groups in preparation of their plans.”

Ponteland Town Council has engaged with the community through extensive communication, consultation and engagement between 2012 and 2017 to produce the plan which addresses issues local people have identified as important in their local area.

It comprises 32 planning policies which have been developed to address spatial planning and land use issues identified by the local community; including the built and natural environment, the local economy, housing, flooding and transport.

Councillor Alan Varley, the Mayor of Ponteland, said:  “Ponteland Town Council is delighted that the plan has been ‘made’ and wishes to express their sincere thanks to the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group members who put in so much time and effort on the Council’s behalf.

“Thanks must also go to the planning officers at the county council, who were there to offer support and guidance when needed”

The Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan and accompanying documents can be viewed on the county council’s website, at County Hall, Morpeth and in Ponteland Library at Ponteland Leisure Centre.