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Core strategy to provide 30,000 homes

Words: Laura Edgar

The Gateshead and Newcastle Planning for the Future Core Strategy has already taken effect after being passed as legally compliant by an independent government-appointed inspector.

After taking into account amendment recommendations by the government inspector, council meetings at both Gateshead Civic Centre and Newcastle Civic Centre agreed the formal adoption of the Core Strategy.

The plan, which forms the first part of Gateshead and Newcastle’s local plan, aims to deliver economic growth and shape development in the region for the next 15 years.

It features plans to provide 30,000 extra homes across Newcastle and Gateshead as well the expected creation of 22,000 jobs.

Adam Serfontein, Hanro Group managing director and chair of Developing Consensus, a group of North-East investors, developers and property advisers, said: “A joined-up approach between our region's neighbouring authorities provides greater scale, skills and sector strength when competing nationally and internationally for investment and jobs.

“This is a great step forward and we must now proactively plan together across the wider city region to attract business investment, foster the climate for indigenous growth, and retain our massively valuable talent pool from the region's universities. If we miss this opportunity, it will affect generations.”

Newcastle City Council said the key to the plan was controlled growth in several neighbourhoods with detailed studies undertaken to ensure that development is done in a sustainable way.

The strategy identifies locations for the new homes as well as land for offices, retails space and new roads. Most of the development, the city council said, was being focused on brownfield land and regeneration areas.

Mick Henry, leader of Gateshead Council, said the council understood the public's “strong feelings” about parts of the plan, and added “we’ve considered all of those concerns carefully, using the best available date throughout”.

Henry added: “This plan gives us the blueprint that will ensure successful and thoroughly planned growth, to boost our economy and provide much needed housing for thousands of people. An independent inspector has agreed that the plan is based on robust evidence and we can now put the years of theory and hard work into practice."

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said the plan would give investors the confidence that Newcastle and Gateshead have “a clear plan for how we want to grow”.

“A city that plans to grow demonstrates the ambition and confidence to attract new jobs and economic growth, and our plan sends out a strong message that we are open for business. It provides the clarity that developers need to bring forward their plans, delivering new homes that people need, and new training opportunities, skills and jobs of the future," he concluded.