Fresh plans for market square by Rialto in Ponteland prompt objections from dozens of residents

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A Ponteland restaurant’s revised proposal for a Victorian-style market square has failed to impress more than half of the people who were unhappy with its first bid.

Rialto submitted an application for The Orchard, a large outdoor expansion for the Italian eatery complete with food and drink offerings, 12 months ago. This received more than 100 objections.

It decided to withdraw this bid and the business submitted a new change of use application with amendments earlier this year after reviewing the comments.

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For example, the total area of the proposed development has been reduced by 32 per cent and its design and access statement said there would be “a move away from the use of shipping containers to a more permanent built structure that would utilise traditional materials such as stone, timber and glazing”.

A CGI of the proposed main entrance. Concept design created by Collaborative Design Limited.A CGI of the proposed main entrance. Concept design created by Collaborative Design Limited.
A CGI of the proposed main entrance. Concept design created by Collaborative Design Limited.

However, more than 60 Ponteland residents so far have submitted an objection to this proposal on the county council’s planning portal.

William Aikman said: “It is apparent that there are those who wish to turn Ponteland into the capital of eat and drink outside Newcastle, whilst most residents do not.

“I object to this proposal on the grounds that it is totally unacceptable due to its location, size, expected noise pollution, danger to motorists and those walking, and the fact that it will be totally out of place in Ponteland.”

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Jacqueline Park Harris’ objection included the following: “The application is still proposing, like the previous one, to build a ‘Stack’ in Ponteland – just not one made of shipping containers. This does not meet the council's own policy objectives to preserve the nature and character of the area.

“The noise assessment is the same as the one previously submitted. It is of poor quality and fails to consider the acoustic implications of the canopy, which probably have at best a slight impact on noise pollution transference.

“The 21 on-site parking spaces, and access for visitors, is not adequate and would lead to inappropriate parking elsewhere.”

If approved, the new development would incorporate a food and drink servery, florist, artisan bakery, coffee stall and three street food stands.

David Fox’s objection included him stating his belief that the proposed development “is more in keeping with city centre nightlife than with a quiet locality such as ours”.