Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... Green belt/wildlife groups vs Newcastle & Gateshead councils

Protesters: Save Gosforth Wildlife/Newcastle West Green Belt Protection Campaign

Target: Newcastle and Gateshead councils

Location: Newcastle Civil Centre

Date: 7 December

The lowdown

Campaigners protesting at plans to build thousands of homes on green-belt land voiced their anger outside Newcastle Civic Centre. Approximately 100 protesters waved placards and banners, as well as staging a funeral procession, bearing a coffin that carried a badger and squirrel - a symbol of the wildlife they fear would be wiped out if homes were to be built on their habitats.

Why the protests?

The controversial plans are part of the One Core Strategy being developed by Newcastle and Gateshead councils. They claim up to 21,000 homes need to be built in the area during the next two decades to meet the demands of a growing population. About 70 per cent will be constructed on brownfield sites and areas identified for regeneration, with green-belt sites making up the shortfall.

How did the councils respond?

No response had been provided as PRWeek went to press.

How did the media cover the it?

There was a minimal level of local press coverage. The Evening Chronicle covered the story with the headline 'Hundreds of people protest over homes plan', while The Journal ran the headline 'Green Belt campaigners demonstrate outside Newcastle Civic Centre'.

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