Parish council's shock over developer bids for 325 new houses in Middleton St George (From The Advertiser Series)
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Parish council's shock over developer bids for 325 new houses in Middleton St George
A PARISH council has vowed to fight plans for two possible housing estates which could add 325 homes to their village.
Members of Middleton St George Parish Council said the village was ‘bursting at the seams’ and that its infrastructure could not cope with any new estates.
The proposals for the two sites, one on Sadberge Road and the other on Middleton Lane, have come from two separate, unconnected developers and are both at the earliest stages.
No planning applications have been submitted but the developers are looking for views from residents on their preliminary proposals.
The Middleton Lane proposal has come from developers Gentoo, which is looking to build 77 properties, a mix of bungalows and families dwellings, on a greenfield site currently used for agriculture.
The Sadberge Road site, a greenfield site to the rear of Heathfield Park, has been earmarked for 250 properties by developers Johnson Brook and Gladman.
Middleton St George has seen a large amount of development in recent years, which has led to a squeeze on places at the village primary school and some problems with traffic.
At a meeting of the parish council, members agreed to work together to fight the proposals if they are formally submitted to Darlington Borough Council as planning applications.
Councillor Doris Jones, chairman of the parish, said: “They are asking to build on what are agricultural sites. This is breaking into our green fields and I think we’ve got to fight it robustly.
“Before, the development in the village was always on brownfield sites. That was one thing, no-one wants to look at derelict factories, so we gave in to it.
“Every bit of green land that we’ve got on the outskirts of the village is at risk. We’ve decided that come what may, we are going to fight this.
“Why is it always Middleton St George?”.
Members agreed that the village could not sustain another 600 or more residents, as well as their vehicles, and that a public meeting would be called if the proposals became more official.
Councillor Steve York said: “We need to get residents’ views and we need to get them involved. This is a Pandora’s Box, it will start a precedent and open the floodgates.”
Colin Wood, head of land, planning and development at Gentoo, speaking about the Middleton Lane site, said: “We are currently in the process of consulting with local residents regarding our scheme proposals, prior to a detailed planning application being submitted. All of the comments and feedback received will be taken on board when making our planning application.”
Johnson Brook and Gladman did not respond when asked for a comment in relation to the Sadberge Road site.
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