DOZENS of objections have been lodged against a proposal for a new food and drink venue.

Ambitious plans for The Orchard, which will comprise of market stalls, street food vendors and retail units, have been put forward for vacant land in Callerton Lane, Ponteland.

The Orchard will accommodate 340 people, with space for 276 seated guests on the ground floor and mezzanine level.

Stalls will include a servery, florist, artisan bakery, coffee stall and three street food stands.

So far, there has been 93 objections and only one supporting the proposed venue.

One resident praised the idea of the venue and said: “This development is an injection entertainment this village desperately needs.

“The orchard is exactly what the village needs, the village lacks nightlife completely and is no wonder young people are forced to get 30 quid taxis into town or Jesmond to have a good time on a Saturday night.”

On the other hand, many residents concerns were ‘inappropriate for the village’.

“It is clearly aimed at attracting visitors from outside the area for the purposes of eating and drinking until late in the eve with the late licence applied for,” a concerned resident said.

“Do we not have enough venues in Ponteland to cater for the residents and can the village cope with this excess amount of people, traffic and noise that this development will bring?”

Another worry is about parking and public transport as some residents complain that ‘traffic is already gridlocked at busy times’.

One resident said : “The existing car parks will not be able to withstand the additional impact and will result in more street parking or parking on grassed verges.

“Bus stops are mentioned in the plans yet busses to and from Newcastle are particularly infrequent in the evenings. Therefore, public transport will not be a viable option for people coming to the venue or leaving - hence placing additional pressure on Parking.

“Road access into Ponteland is already gridlocked at busy times, so additional traffic going to and from this venue would add to this problem causing tailbacks to stretch even further.

“This could have a detrimental effect upon emergency vehicles needing to get in and out of Ponteland as well as being not fair to residents who need to be able to travel in and out of Ponteland in their day to day lives.”

A noise assessment submitted to the council listed a number of mitigating conditions to control noise and any instances of anti-social behaviour.

They include: A CCTV system shall be installed at the premises and maintained in proper

working order to the satisfaction of Northumbria Police and the Licensing Authority.

The premises licence holder will operate a Challenge 25 policy whilst the premises

are open to the public.

An incident log (electronic or paper based) is to be kept and maintained on the

premises for at least 6 months

There shall be a maximum limit of 350 patrons permitted within the External area

at any one time

Overnight security staff will remain on site as a protective and crime prevention


Stewards will be in place to manage any points where road access meets foot

traffic to ensure both can pass without incident or collision.