Calls for new roads, shops and medical facilities in busy Newcastle area as plans for more new homes lodged

Independent councillor Marc Donnelly, who represents Chapel ward in Newcastle
Independent councillor Marc Donnelly, who represents Chapel ward in Newcastle -Credit:Craig Connor/ChronicleLive

A councillor has pleaded for new infrastructure to be built for the outer west of Newcastle, after plans were lodged for another new housing development.

Independent councillor Marc Donnelly has pleaded with city officials to instigate the building of new roads, shops and medical facilities to cope with an influx of new-build homes over recent years. It comes after an application was lodged to build 45 new bungalows on the site of the former Parkway School in Chapel Park.

Keepmoat Homes wants to build an older persons’ community on the Allerdale Drive land, the second phase of a transformation of the former school after Tolent’s previous development. Plans lodged with Newcastle City Council describe ambitions to “deliver a high-quality, mixed-tenure older person’s village” with bespoke homes specifically designed for elderly residents and for environmental sustainability.

But Coun Donnelly has spoken out over his wider concerns for the outer west, following a series of big building projects on the outskirts of the city over recent years. He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he worries that there are still insufficient services to meet the needs of new residents coming to new estates like those at Lower Callerton.

The Chapel ward councillor said: “To me, the council is putting money before residents and before the long-term issues that we have. Everyone [in the outer west] is coming to Chapel House because this is where the doctor is, this is where the dentist is, this is where the shops are.

“All these new housing developments haven’t got the facilities to go with them. We keep putting pressure on the area but we are not building the infrastructure. The council gains from this building because it gets capital receipts from the land, but it needs to be putting its hands in its pockets to build more infrastructure. Why can’t we put the infrastructure in first and then build the housing developments after?”

A council spokesperson insisted that the local authority will “ do all that it can to speed up infrastructure development in the area”. They added: “Infrastructure is critically important to the long-term sustainability of all new housing schemes.

"The council uses section 106 to deliver the necessary infrastructure to meet communities’ needs including new roads and schools. We want to see new facilities supporting housing but by their very nature these take time to plan and do follow on after families have moved into a locality so needs can be accurately met.”

The proposed Keepmoat development would comprise of a mix of two- and three-bed bungalows, eight of which would be made available for affordable rent and the rest for private sale. The planning application states: “These homes will be accessible and attractive to individuals over 55 years of age and will seek to reduce energy use and maximise carbon neutral heat and power alternatives in line with the council’s ambitions to make Newcastle ‘carbon neutral’ by 2030.”