Responses to Consultations.

TVMTBC responses to a range of consultations on all aspects of cycling in the North East of England

Dissington Estate Access response:

Tyne Valley MTB Cycling 15.01.17


Written by Ted Liddle | Published: 15th January 2017


Lugano Property Group have submitted plans to build a Garden Village on the north side of Ponteland on land they have fairly recently acquired known as the Dissington Estate (2,537 acres). For more information see -


Lugano recognises that access considerations must be built into their plans and particularly for this regard, a consultation evening was held at Ponteland on Wednesday 11th January 2017. This was attended by Ted Liddle on behalf of TVMTBC and the Northumberland Joint Local Access Forum (NJLAF).


Undoubtedly, the development could provide significant benefit for new access and to Rights of Way in that locale and beyond to the benefit of cyclists, walkers and horse riders.  My attendance was motivated to:

a) Ensure the opportunity to optimise these benefits aren’t missed as a result of the development 

b) To open dialogue with Lugano to negotiate new and improved access on and beyond the estate irrespective of the planned development without implying support or opposition. 


Lugano had commissioned land agents George F White to survey existing and potential access to the Estate land relevant to the proposed Garden Village development. Their recommendations were available on a marked up map. 

A number of these recommendations would definitely provide new and improved access for all three user groups but the main gain for new and improved access takes three forms:

  1. Creating new access to and through the proposed Garden Village development
  2. Improving access along the existing disused railway track (DRT) – a bridleway in generally poor condition which provides an off-road section of the Rivers Cycle Route 
  3. Providing new access along a further section of DRT on private land hitherto used in part for farm use and in part, lying dormant in a state of overgrowth

The adjoining map shows the three locations which are summarised above. This report recognises the value of the wider access that has been identified by George F White and enthusiastically supports the creation of most, if not all of those routes.  TVMTBC offers to be involved in the creation process to advise on best alignment and quality.

Dissington Hall Estate and beyond: key access benefits  



Tyne Valley MTB supports Northumberland Joint Local Access Forum’s response which states it …..

  1. Neither supports or opposes the proposed Garden Village development
  2. Offers to advise on new internal and link access options for the main site 
  3. Offers to advise on wider access under consideration
  4. Requests Lugano to repair the DRT section of Bridleway (solid line)
  5. Believes the ideal would be to tarmac 2.5m width and provide 2.5m suitable BrW surface
  6. Urges Lugano to repair, dedicate then open the Red House DRT (dashed line) as a BrW as a priority in 2017
  7. Stresses the importance of the DRT aspirational extension if this can be negotiated
  8. Recommends Lugano recognises affection users hold for the DRT through Darras Hall  

Numbers 4, 5 and 6 plus 7 are priorities. 

Northumberland JLAF urges Lugano to work with supportive organisations to repair then open the Red House DRT (dashed line) as a BrW in 2017. This should not be contingent on the Garden Village.

The JLAF believes by so doing, Lugano would be taking the lead to establish a 13.7 km long flat, level and traffic-free Greenway, albeit with road crossings, between south of Newcastle airport and the minor roads west of Silverhill with links to close-by communities and north Newcastle.  A new 800m link (pink line) is required to connect this Greenway to North Newcastle.  An existing link connects with Lemington where the River Tyne ‘Greenway’ extends west to Prudhoe and east to Tynemouth. Existing Greenways reticulate into County Durham, South Tyneside and the North Pennines. 

This would be a significant achievement with huge regional benefit which is very easy to progress for which Lugano could be the catalyst. Extending the RCR MTB route further into the countryside west of Ponteland would enhance the route by some measure.

Tyneside Greenway map