These photographs are taken from the last summer bank holiday of 2017, when I walked round Ponteland in an clockwise direction starting at Callerton Parkway Metro station. But first a pair of titties to get your attention ( nowhere near Ponteland ).
Leaving Callerton Park station there’s a short section of road, without a footpath. A dicey first 500 metres if you don’t have good walking craft on such roads.
But pretty soon you can turn off and follow a public right of way under the path of departing flights. The paraphernalia of the airport is on the horizon.
This is the 4-way junction of public footpaths, looking slightly better than last time.
And on to Callerton Lane which with no path down either side is hazardous to navigate, something which would have been rectified if the Lugano development at Birney Hill had gone ahead.
Next, a couple of shots of the industrial land which would have been used for the Birney Hill development. Agriculture is an industry after all. At present no-one is benefitting from this land in terms of public access or biodiversity. No doubt some people will say there are other benefits to having no-one there, usually home owners who have the view and land owners getting their subsidies. These are surely individual goods as few if any other people are getting to enjoy the view and subsidies make us poorer *.
The road to the listed building at Birney Hall looks gorgeous ( this was not part of the proposed development ).
The listed windmill nearby appears unloved. My guess is that there are now more listed windmills than unlisted ones in the UK. This could be a topic for further enquiry. Does the country really need so many isolated and broken lifeless towers reminding nobody where we once collected our flour? I say ‘reminding nobody’ as there is no-one there which is the same as the last time I visited. If building was permitted up to say 25 metres of the base people would show more interest.
On the west side of Ponteland there was a field of red-coloured grasses
Up to this point I had not passed a single human being. On a Bank Holiday. This changed when reaching the cycle way on the North-Western side of the town. Finally I returned to the Town Park, which is the pride and joy of Ponteland. People love urban parks. As a rule people have no interest in inaccessible fields in the Green Belt.
*Fournier and Johansson paper in 2016 for the OECD “Effect of size and mix of public spending on growth and inequality ”
So the Lugano development at Birney Hill is no longer planned. Another bigger development nearby is in the pipeline though. This is the
Dissington Garden Village which contains a link to a survey which is clearly a bit of a stitch-up in my view, as they have polled the general Castle Morpeth borough to get a favourable view of the proposal. If they had polled people within say 3km of the site the numbers may have been different, and we would have a worthwhile estimate of the local level of YIMBYism which would be interesting to know.