A PROPERTY developer has stressed the community benefits of a new housing scheme in the face of significant opposition.

Stockton Borough Council’s planning committee last week approved the plan to build 330 homes on the former Tall Trees Hotel site, near Yarm owned by businessman Javed Majid.

The plan is controversial because permission has already been granted to build about 3,000 new homes in various schemes across south Stockton.

However Jake Majid of Maher Entertainments said that in this case, sports enthusiasts would be able to enjoy new football pitches and pavilion facilities.

Local junior football clubs, including Leven AFC, will benefit from the new amenities, which have the support of Sport England.

He argued Stockton council’s own Playing Pitch Strategy, published in June 2011, cited a shortage of junior football pitches with youngsters having to play on adult size pitches.

Walkers and ramblers could also be catered for with limited access to the valley opened up, possibly to link to its south side.

Mr Majid said: “As part of our application to redevelop the site, the former Saltersgill School on its western fringe can only be used for recreational purposes.

“We have acknowledged the shortage of football and cricket pitches, particularly for younger children, in the area, and are keen to help local residents by providing first rate facilities that will significantly benefit the people of Yarm and surrounding neighbourhoods.”