AN MP has urged Stockton Council to do all it can to fight plans for a major housing development.

James Wharton, Conservative MP for Stockton South, made his comments after Stockton Borough Council's planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build 550 homes in Ingleby Barwick.

Mr Wharton supported an earlier plan to build 350 homes in the area in return for a new ‘free’ school.

But following that successful application, two new housing schemes have been submitted to the authority for the same area around Low Lane.

The first, by Jersey-based Tiviot Investments, for 550 homes was rejected last week following a campaign by Mr Wharton’s rival, Louise Baldock, who will contest the seat for the Labour Party next year and spoke at the planning meeting.

But Tiviot Investments plans to appeal and Mr Wharton said: “Stockton council need to confirm it will do everything it can to fight any appeal, including appointing a high level barrister. If this is just a ploy to let the (Government) Inspector take the decision they will not get away with it.”

Another application, by Prism Planning, to build a further 550 homes nearby will be considered by the authority in the coming weeks.

The issue will be debated at Stockton council’s Full Council meeting to be held at Stockton Tabnernacle on Wednesday, March 5 at 7pm.