THERE was disappointment this week as yet more planning applications to build homes in the Stockton area were approved.
A total of 54 new homes were approved for Stillington, west of Stockton, even though there are already two other plans to build 62 houses in the village.
Stockton Borough Council also approved plans to build 36 dwellings at nearby Carlton despite the fact that two other applications to build homes in the area have previously been refused.
Other larger applications have included a plan to build nearly 850 homes at the former MOD site at Allens West and there have also been plans to build hundreds of more homes across Yarm and Ingleby Barwick.
However, developers have not actually built many homes, instead taking advantage of the fact that the council cannot demonstrate it has enough houses for projected need which makes it easier to get large-scale applications approved to be built on when demand returns.
At a planning meeting at Stockton Central Library one Stillington objector, Judith Turner, said the size of her village would have doubled in under 25 years if the plan was approved.
She said: “In 1990 there were just 300 homes and 165 have been built since. If all these new ones are built that’s another 116 and the village will have nearly doubled in size. There are already a lot of problems parking and there are no train and no busses in the evening or on Sundays and no safe cycling route.”
Other objectors said the village school was already was full and many said the proposed access road to the new homes would unfairly open up a cul de sac as a main thoroughfare.
The issue of the access road was taken up by several councillors as possibly dangerous and unfair but the developer’s agent, Shaun Hedley, assured the council the issue would be looked at again. The outline application was approved in principle but a more detailed version will be put before the councillors at a future meeting which will again need approval.
Objectors to the Carlton proposal argued the feel of the village, founded in Norman times, would change, there were traffic issues and possible flooding problems. Councillor Ken Lupton, leader of the Conservative group, pointed out the area had not been designated for development in the Local Plan and previous applications had been turned down.
However Neil Westwick, agent for the developers, said 13 of the houses would be ‘affordable,’ there was a provable need for new homes in the area and the construction would directly create 35 new jobs that would go to local people.
Councillors eventually approved the proposal by eight votes to four.