New Newcastle homes stuck in limbo over A1 junction upgrades

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image captionStamfordham Road in Newcastle is one of three A1 junctions that need upgrading before new homes can be built

Thousands of new homes planned for Newcastle are on hold because of a need for road improvements.

Three junctions of the A1 are subject to Grampian conditions, meaning they must be upgraded before homes can be built in the area.

This affects homes planned for Callrton, Throckley, and Kenton Bankfoot, Newcastle City Council's scrutiny committee was told.

The council said junction upgrades were still in the design stage.

However, upgrading the A1 junctions at Rotary Way, Stamfordham Road and Ponteland Road is a "priority", according to the council's cabinet member for transport Arlene Ainsley.

Funding problems

She told the overview and scrutiny committee at least 20 busy junctions needed improving before more than 3,000 houses planned for the west of the city could be built.

In 2017, the council completed vital upgrades to lift a Grampian condition at the junction of Fawdon Lane and Kingston Park Road which would have stopped any further homes in development sites to the west of the A1 being occupied.

However, council officers said they had run into funding problems due to changes in planning legislation, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported.

Local authorities used to be able to pool all cash contributions from developers to carry out infrastructure works in whatever order they needed to be done, but that is no longer allowed.

Cllr Ainsley said a "programme is being created for the delivery of the remaining junctions" west of Newcastle.

She said the council had secured £9.6m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to "provide new school places and upgrade six junctions" to enable the construction of 4,200 homes by 2035.

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