PLANS to manage the landscape along a stretch of the River Tees will be investigated this summer.

Middleton St George Parish Council is looking at how it can improve access to the river as it runs through Middleton One Row.

The council is considering a number of options but will be consulting with specialists from Darlington Borough Council ahead of a public consultation to move the initiative forward.

Parish Council chairwoman, Councillor Catherine Gilsenan said: "The Parish Council is undertaking a comprehensive review of this project over the summer.

"There are a number of factors that need to be taken into account, and it will also be necessary to discuss the issues with Darlington Borough Council’s Arboricultural Officer.

"Following this review, a revised management plan will be drafted, and there will be full public consultation before any major work is carried out.

"Whilst the Parish Council has a responsibility to manage such areas in terms of safety, better access and to ensure that the minimum of work is required to be carried out to manage overgrowth, the aim is always to undertake the work in a sensitive manner to protect ecology, wildlife and habitat, and improve bio-diversity.

"The Parish Council hopes that, following the review, and when we begin an engagement and consultation period, members of the community will help us to manage the area as volunteers, and thereby have a meaningful input into the project, in the joint knowledge that the community is involved in the plan as well as the implementation of the plan.

"It may take a few months to carry out the project review, but we will keep you informed."

The council has also arranged a special meeting on Monday, August 12 at 6.30pm in the Parish Council Meeting Room to consider the Planning Inspector’s decision to permit development on the land to the rear of High Stell planning appeal.

The developers now have permission to build the first 50 houses on the site.