Campaign group launched to oppose Newport development

FURIOUS Newport residents have launched a campaign against a possible large-scale housing development which they say could see the community “double in size and lose its village appeal”.

The campaign Stop Newport Expansion was set up in response to talk of Newport Free Grammar school being partially or completely rebuilt as part of a wider plan to erect up to 300 homes, a large convenience store and a care home in the village – as exclusively revealed in the Reporter last month.

This angered many residents and led to the creation of a Facebook page, Twitter account and e-mail address for others who wish to oppose the development.

Joanna Parry, of Belmont Hill, set up the campaign. She said: “We have launched this in opposition to proposals for a massive development in our village and have set up contact details so other villagers can support the endeavour.

“It gives people a focal point for opposing the building of new houses and accompanying infrastructure to the extent that Newport could double in size and lose its village appeal.”

News of the possible redevelopment, which Pelham Structures put before the parish council last month, has also angered businesses in Newport. Founder of the Newport Business Association, Jeremy Rose, who is also a district and parish councillor, said a new convenience store could “decimate the high street”.

“The proposals that have been put together do not consider the opinion of businesses in Newport and I think they are outrageous,” he said.

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He was dismayed by what he called “a total disregard for the school’s connections with Cambridge University”, and also said the developer had shown “no regard for the existing local infrastructure and businesses in the area”.

“The developers think they can just roll in and destroy our cultural heritage. All they care about is the next 15 to 20 years and whether the project is commercially viable.

“What we want is a long-term strategy of employment for people in Newport.”

However, director of Pelham Structures Bill Bampton made it clear the firm would be happy to sit down and listen to the concerns of the business community at the association’s next meeting on February 24.

For more information about the campaign, call Mrs Parry on 01799 542575, e-mail, follow the group on Twitter at @stopnewportexpansion or visit the Facebook page at