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CPRE Northumberland

Local Plan update, January 2019

The Cheviots from Hepburn Crags The Cheviots from Hepburn Crags © Don Brownlow

Consultation on the first Draft Northumberland Plan ended last August... 

...and we move on now to the second consultation, on the pre-submission Draft. The revised Plan and its accompanying maps will be available to scrutenise from the end of January, and the consultation ends on March 13.

Revisions to the Draft Plan have been few, mostly matters of wording. In this next stage we are invited to check the Draft Plan for anything we believe to be 'unsound', and which may cause the Plan to fail its Examination-in-Public.

In the first Draft Plan, CPRE Northumberland found much to support, especially in the detailed concerns expressed for the environment, with policies to protect the tranquillity of the countryside and dark skies. Housing numbers have been realistically revised to take account of recent figures for population growth, so that it has not been deemed necessary to make any further inroads into the Green Belt, which is at last to be extended to the north and west of Morpeth.

However, while we note that the National Park and AONBs (the North Northumberland Coast and the Pennines) are left free of wind farms, we have taken issue over the County Council's decision to declare extensive areas of the rest of the county as 'suitable for wind turbines up to 40 metres'. This means that many of our most popular landscapes - as seen from popular viewpoints from the Wannies to the Kyloe hills - could be blighted by turbines up to 130 feet high in future.

After this consultation, the Plan is expected to be submitted in May of this year for examination in the autumn.

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