Report this comment
  • "I suspect that the residents will be considerably more horrified at losing their actively used play/sports fields and well used, modern play ground than they are by some new houses. We are not a small town, but a fine grained historic village. A new 1960's shopping parade horror is not the answer. The GP's are on board you say? What to build a new medical centre to offer more services and a pharmacy, thereby making them more money? You surprise me. How about fixing the drainage so that the playground isn't muddy? How about upgrading/expanding the play equipment? How about actually doing something with the existing community centre to make it fit for purpose so that it that is can act as the heart of the village? But wait, that's owned by the Parish Council so presumably a sacred cow; better leave that alone then."
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.

  • Enter the above word in the box below

Adventurous plans for Middleton St George could transform the village

First published in News

A BOLD plan that could see a village sacrifice its play area to build much-needed shops and a medical centre has been revealed in a bid by the parish council to beat housing developers at their own game.

Councillors admit the proposals for the future of Middleton St George will be controversial, but said they hope people will agree with the plan once they realise the benefits it could bring.

The draft proposals for the Middleton St George development plan, a legally binding document outlining accepted development in the village up to 2025, look to provide the housing, shops and facilities needed in the area, while also preventing large-scale developments that add houses without improving the village.

A drop-in event where residents can hear more details of the proposals will be held on Saturday, July 12.

The proposals put forward by the parish council include:

• Using the playing field, off Station Road, to create a Neighbourhood Hub - a parade of single-storey shops, a medical centre with integrated pharmacy, parking and a play area;

• Allowing housing, in particular starter homes and bungalows for older people, to be built on unused land off Yarm Road, backing on to the railway line;

• Revitalising the recreational facilities in the Water Park to make it a place for people of all ages to spend time relaxing and exercising.

Councillor Doris Jones, chairwoman of the parish council, admitted that she had been horrified when the proposals to build on the play area had first been suggested.

But she added: “We appreciate the idea of using the play park to build on will be controversial but it’s not very well used because it gets pretty muddy and the equipment is old.

“By using that land for development, we can create better facilities for the people that live here.

“We don’t know how many shops yet or what they will include – we want people to come along to the consultation and tell us what they want to see. If they don’t want shops there, they can tell us and come up with an alternative.”

The parish council has been working on the neighbourhood plan for months after becoming concerned about the number of speculative planning applications for large housing estates in the village.

The plan, which must pass a local referendum, allows the village to outline permitted development for the coming years.

There is no option to reject development outright and the parish council has decided to make its own proposals that improve the village for its existing residents, rather than rely on the suggestions of outsiders looking to develop land for financial gain.

Cllr Jones added: “We have become a small town of 5,000 people but we still have facilities for a small village.

“People told us that the village has lost its centre, has no parking, shops or services.

“The GPs are on board for the new medical centre and it would allow them to offer many more services than they currently do.

“It’s very adventurous. We would give up an acre of land but we would gain so much more.”

Glen McGill, a planning consultant working with the parish council, said: “We’ve based the strategy on what people told us in the consultation – we’ve not come up with them out of thin air.

“We won’t please everybody but these developments will allow us to do so much more to improve the village.”

The drop-in session to discuss the proposals will take place between 10.30am and 3.30pm at St George's Primary School and will feature sketches and maps of the proposals.

Members of the parish council and the planning consultants will be available to answer questions.

For more details visit or search for ‘Residents against the over-development of Middleton St George’ on Facebook.

Comments (13)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree