MP calls for residents' concerns about multiple planning applications in a Darlington village to be heard

Darlington and Stockton Times: Phil Wilson Phil Wilson

AN MP has called for residents’ concerns about a number of potential new housing estates in their village to be taken into account when planning decisions are made.

Middleton St George has been the focus of a number of planning applications on various greenfield sites, which could add more than 725 houses to the village if they were all approved.

A proposal to build 400 homes at the nearby Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) has also recently been announced, leading to concerns that the village would be overwhelmed, with the local school and doctors surgery unable to cope.

Labour MP Phil Wilson, who represents Middleton St George as part of his Sedgefield constituency, has written to Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, to ask that the separate planning applications for the village are considered as part of a wider picture.

In his letter, Mr Wilson said: “I can understand my constituents’ concerns about these developments and the strains that would be placed on the amenities in the area including the school and doctors surgery.

“I do not believe the proposals should be considered without reference to a Development Plan for Middleton St George, prepared with the parish council.

“I am sure any such plan would address the community needs of the parish in the form of expanded or additional amenities required by the village.

“I believe we need to make every effort to ensure that the needs of the whole of Middleton St George are taken into consideration.”

Doris Jones, ward councillor for Middleton St George, said the parish was already working to counter the proposals for more housebuilding in the village and added: “This kind of challenge is not new to us and we will do whatever is needed to ensure residents are not overcome by several hundred new homes.

“The parish has hired a planning consultant to guide us through this complicated situation. We are working extremely hard, with support from residents, towards ensuring the best possible result for the village and not the housebuilders”.

Coun Dixon said both Mr Wilson and the parish council had made excellent points about the situation in Middleton St George and that if the village had to grow further, extra amenities would be needed.


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