Residents who want derelict street destroyed disappointed as council officers stall decision (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Stockton residents who want derelict street destroyed disappointed as council officers stall decision
RESIDENTS who want a derelict street in their neighbourhood demolished spoke of their disappointment when a decision about its future was delayed today (Wednesday, September 11).
Stockton Borough Council’s planning officers had recommended councillors reverse a plan to demolish Tarring Street in the Parkfield area of town in favour of an alternative scheme.
The planning committee was advised to support the new scheme which involves the transfer of 14 authority-owned properties to a developer who would restore them and build a further eight homes.
However, councillors disagreed and voted against the new proposal and some said the backed residents that the street should be bulldozed.
At the meeting councillors heard testimony from three women who live in the Parkfield area who argued the street, much of which has been derelict for more than eight years and featured as a bomb site in a film about the London Blitz, should be flattened.
The committee also heard the Parkfield and Mill Lane area of town has been undergoing a £5.5m regeneration programme involving demolition of many homes but also the upgrading of others, new homes, landscaping and a park.
However, Government cuts forced the authority to scale back the plans, although £1.52m was secured last year.
Resident Pam Perks told the meeting: “To bring these decrepit houses back from the dead would mean we’ve been totally betrayed.”
Mary Andrews said one property had been boarded up for 32 years and added: “We’ve looked out at a bomb site for eight-and-a-half years. We were promised a nice outlook. This came out of the blue and has made us angry.”
Coun Steve Walmsley, a Thornaby Independent, said: “These houses should have been bulldozed 40 years, they belong to another century.”
Coun Ken Lupton, Conservative, said the proposal, which left very little room for car parking and social amenities, was “ill-considered.”
However Coun David Rose, who has been heavily involved in bringing millions of pounds of regeneration money into the area, said dramatic Government cut backs had forced the council to change the original regeneration plan.
In the end councillors voted by seven votes to four against the proposal.
However, council officers intervened and said the reasons for rejecting it would need to be discussed again because they weren’t clear enough.
No final decision was recorded. The application is expected to be listed again on the next planning committee agenda. “It’s really disappointing,” said Mrs Perks outside the meeting.
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