Sunniside Farm Green Belt Development

September 7, 2022

This evening, I presented a petition organised by Jane Mills on behalf of 878 South Shields residents who oppose the development of 156 residential properties on land west of Sunniside farm.

Speaking in the chamber, I raised the issues that the development is located on land with a food-producing arable field and a heavily used historical footpath linking two ancient monasteries.

The two monasteries lie on Bede’s Way, a pilgrimage route taken by worshippers between the two 7th Century Anglo-Saxon sites between Wearmouth and Jarrow.

Campaigners have raised several concerns including negative effects on air quality, light pollution, traffic, noise, biodiversity and ecology – especially given its closeness to the Cleadon Hills local nature reserve. I also highlighted in an interview with the Shields Gazette that the land is rich in CO2, so digging risks releasing this into the atmosphere and adding to greenhouse gases.

I further emphasised the need for local communities to have the final say on what happens in their local areas and urged the Government to change their National Planning Policy Framework to include a right of refusal clause for development on green belt land.

You can watch the clip of my speech on Twitter or Facebook.

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