Fresh plans for market square by Rialto in Ponteland turned down by Northumberland County Council

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A Ponteland restaurant’s revised proposal for a Victorian-style market square has been refused.

Rialto submitted an application for The Orchard, a large outdoor expansion for the Italian eatery complete with food and drink offerings, in 2022. 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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

For example, the total area of the proposed development was 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, the new proposals still received dozens of objections – with fears remaining about the impact on the character of the area and residential amenity that the development would have and an increased risk of flooding, among other concerns.

As well as making these points, the comments from Ponteland Town Council also included the following: “The application documents highlight that the capacity of the development would be 250 people. Whilst it is noted that this capacity has reduced from 350 in the previous application, this remains a significant development which has the potential to generate substantial levels of movement.

“Only 21 parking spaces are proposed to be provided. Parking is a significant issue for the local community; this is reflected within the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The application was turned down by Northumberland County Council planning officers under delegated powers.

The section of the officers’ report outlining the reasons for refusal said: “The proposal of a new retail offer supports economic growth, new facilities in a town centre location and encourages social cohesion, whilst aiming to enhance the vitality of the (Ponteland) Village centre.

“However, the proposed scale and design of the scheme would not respect the character of the area or the Ponteland Conservation Area. The increased intensification of the site from additional visitors would have a harmful impact to local residents and the character of the village centre from potential noise, disturbance, light and odour, as well as the highways safety concerns for all users.

“There has also been insufficient information submitted in relation to flood risk, ecology and land contamination.”