A CONTROVERSIAL development that has been the source of a legal dispute between Northumberland County Council and property developer Lugano has been withdrawn.

Plans for 2,000 new homes at the so-called Dissington Garden Village near Ponteland had been due to go back to the council’s strategic planning committee next Tuesday.

The development was given minded-to-approve decision under the previous Labour administration but looked set to be refused planning permission by the Conservatives.

The company has now withdrawn the application, and also said they will continue with its High Court action against the council, with the company seeking £10m in damages.

In a statement, Lugano said: “The planning application for Dissington Garden Village has been withdrawn.

“The company’s professional advisers note that county council has refused to meet or engage in any meaningful way since the Conservative administration took control and can only conclude that this change of position is purely politically-driven.

“The company has stated its intention to resubmit plans in the future, but for now will concentrate on ongoing litigation against the council.”

A council spokeswoman said that the council did not comment on standards complaints unless they went to a hearing before the council’s standards committee.