RESIDENTS are campaigning to halt plans for 65 houses on fields near their homes, saying the development would cause a huge increase in traffic and destroy a wildlife haven.

The land in Guisborough has been purchased subject to contract by Newett Homes for the purpose of building 65 new homes aimed at first-time buyers, people downsizing, and growing families, with sole access onto the site through Trefoil Close, a small cul-de-sac. New green spaces will also be delivered to be used by the community, with a new site accessed from Meynell Avenue.

Newett Homes is holding an online consultation on the plan to get feedback, and say that these plans will provide much-needed housing, including affordable homes. No formal planning application has yet been made.

The site consists of two areas of uncultivated grassland, divided into two parts by Hutton Beck and woodland, backing onto Hutton Meadows and Stokesley Road on one side, and Tidkin Lane and Thames Avenue on the other. The fields also abut Tudor Croft gardens on Stokesley Road.

The Hutton Meadows estate currently has 170 houses and Galley Hill Primary School, which is on the main thoroughfare into and through the estate to Trefoil Close. In addition, St Paulinus RC School is opposite the estate, where the junction at The Avenue is controlled by school crossing wardens during school terms.

Residents of the Hutton Meadows estate say that the increased traffic, both from construction traffic and future residents, presents a danger to children attending the schools. There is concern about the destruction of a significant green belt that has much flora and fauna, while wildlife including otters, egrets, grey heron, barn owl, water vole and yellow flycatchers has been sighted in the area. It is also felt that local health and education services will be overwhelmed by the increase in the local population, given that housing construction in the area is continuing on the nearby Bellway and Taylor Wimpey estates.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Hutton Beck and woodland which divides the site between top and lower fields

Conrad Ellison, environmentalist and chairman of Guisborough Against More Building on Open Land (GAMBOL), is passionate about maintaining the land for wildlife, and is urging people to oppose the development by posting comments on

“If we don’t express our concerns, Guisborough will become one large housing estate with no natural green areas for wildlife," he said. "Guisborough is a countryside town and we want it to remain that way. The infrastructure of the town is already struggling to cope with the hundreds of new houses that have been built recently.”

A similar application was made 20 years ago by Persimmon Homes, but permission was refused following a campaign by GAMBOL.