On 26th March 2015, Newcastle City Council voted to accept the proposals in the Newcastle-Gateshead Core Strategy. Newcastle Green Party condemned this strategy as failing to meet the real challenges that lie ahead, stating:
It will be bad for both our community and our environment. Instead of planning for the future, it is based on failed models of ‘growth’. It is a strategy driven by commercial greed, not the real needs of our city.
Instead of reassessing the Strategy in the light of what really will be sustainable, council leaders have bulldozed ahead. They are saddling the city with a plan that will destroy vital green spaces, increase road traffic, worsen air pollution, add to carbon emissions, aggravate flood risks, concrete over farmland, destroy wildlife corridors and generally spread urban sprawl around the edges of the city.
Instead of a resolute focus on affordable housing within the existing built-up area, the plan will result in more dormitory suburbs of executive style housing.
Instead of utilising empty shops and offices, the plan will lead to more borrowing to fund yet more shopping malls and office blocks. And, if their hyper-optimistic projections of new business growth fall short, the city will be saddled with more debt and more cutbacks to already shredded services.
The coming years will be very different to past decades. Climate change alone will ensure that. We need to build a resilient city one that can cope with future challenges and one that serves the common good of all its citizens. The Core Strategy fails to do that.
Our formal objections (in the names of both Newcastle and Gateshead Green Parties) are available in full as below: