Local business owners back proposed Hazlerigg residential development scheme

March 8, 2016 | Brenkley News

To support this exciting plan that will bring much needed new homes to the Newcastle City area, along with jobs and investment, please go to: http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/hazlerigg/support-this-project/

Two north Newcastle business owners have backed plans for a new housing development in the area that they believe will boost trade for their and other local firms.

In November last year, North East employer Banks Property submitted a planning application to Newcastle City Council for the proposed Hazlerigg scheme, which would be located on a 22 hectare site to the west of Hazlerigg village and the south of Brunswick village.

The scheme, which would be created in line with the principles of sustainable development, would include 462 homes, and would be designed to complement and enhance the existing character of the local area, as well as to bring to it a wide range of economic, social, environmental, employment and supply chain benefits.

As well as introducing the plans to around 140 local people at a community exhibition in Hazlerigg last year, Banks Property has also been proactively talking to local business owners about what they’re looking to do in the area, one of whom was Robert Rafferty, owner of Newcastle Garage Services on the nearby Brunswick Industrial Estate.

The five year-old business provides the full range of automotive repair services and draws most of its customers from around the local area, a position which Robert Rafferty believes would be further enhanced by the planned increase in the number of local homes, with the potential for more jobs to be created within his business on the back of increasing demand.

He says: “We’ve built a successful business in this area over the last five years and would like to keep moving forward, something which an increase in the number of people living locally could clearly help us to achieve.

“The increase in demand that we would expect to follow if the Hazlerigg development goes ahead would give us the potential to create new jobs within the garage, and could have a similarly positive effect for all sorts of companies operating within our community.”

Ian Timney, who set up Brunswick Industrial Estate-based Britannia Picture Framers 20 years ago, is also supportive of the Hazlerigg proposals, both from a business development and local housing need point of view.

He says: “First and foremost, there’s a real local need for the houses that this development would bring with it, and the site that’s been chosen seems a very suitable place for them to be located.

“While we do get customers from across the region, most of our business is drawn from the local area, and we’ve previously seen new people come through the door from other housing developments nearby, so hopefully some of the people who would live on the Hazlerigg site would do the same.”

The proposed Hazlerigg site was identified in Newcastle and Gateshead’s ‘One Core Strategy as a suitable location for this type of residential development.

The Banks Group currently employs over 200 people across the nearby Brenkley Lane and Shotton surface mine sites, which jointly contribute around £35m to the regional economy every year through wages, investments and the local supply chain, as well as more than £400,000 in annual business rates to Northumberland County Council and Newcastle City Council.

Jeannie Kielty, development relations coordinator at The Banks Group, says: “We’ve spoken to many small businesses in the Hazlerigg and Brunswick area about the details of our proposals and the impact they could have on these firms’ local operations, and there’s a good degree of appreciation from many of them of what our project could mean to their future prospects.

“We’re continuing to have very useful discussions around the community about the different elements of the Hazlerigg scheme, and are grateful to Robert, Ian and all the other people who’ve given their backing to our ideas so far.

“There is an acknowledged need for more homes to be built across the North East in order to meet the needs of a growing regional population, and we believe the Hazlerigg site offers an excellent option for 462 new homes in a location which we know will be very popular with people wanting to move to or stay in the area.

“The feedback we received from local people was extremely useful to our design team in their development of the Hazlerigg proposals, and we’re looking forward to having our planning application assessed and determined by Newcastle City Council within the next few months.

For further information on the Hazlerigg scheme, and to register support for it, please visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/hazlerigg

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