A HIGH Court action against Northumberland County Council brought by developers wanting to build 2,000 homes near Ponteland has been dropped.

Lugano Property Group had been seeking £10m damages from the council and its leader Peter Jackson, chief executive Daljit Lally and cabinet member for planning John Riddle, after it alleged they acted improperly and unlawfully, in relation to its Dissington Garden Village proposal. The authority had initially said it was minded to approve the scheme, but changed its stance and the application was eventually withdrawn in January. Lugano alleged it suffered serious financial losses.

Coun. Jackson, who represents Ponteland South with Heddon, said: “The particularly vitriolic statements from the Lugano directors have been shown to be indefensible and without foundation. We will be pursuing Lugano Dissington Estate Ltd for the substantial legal costs which have been incurred in defending against their ridiculous claims. They should publicly apologise without delay.”

Lugano Property Group said: “We stand fully behind the claims made in both the legal proceedings and our previous complaints to the council concerning the named individuals.”