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Village development plans will cause 'major problems' - councillor
COUNCILLORS representing a Darlington village have spoken of their concerns after the first in a series of expected planning applications for new housing estates in the area were submitted to planners.
An agent acting on behalf of developers Gentoo has submitted a full planning application for 76 properties, on Middleton Lane, in Middleton St George, to Darlington Borough Council.
Councillors Doris Jones and Steve York said the village would not be able to cope with a growing influx of new estates and that the village was at risk of losing all of its greenfield sites.
The village has long been a target for developers, with the population of the village growing sharply in the last decade, putting pressure on local amenities and road networks.
Residents started a campaign last month after two developers revealed they were looking to build housing estates that could add more than 350 properties to the village.
Another potential development elsewhere in the village, for 25 houses, has also been mooted in recent days.
Gentoo submitted its application for the Middleton Lane site, which many view as the buffer between Middleton St George and nearby Middleton One Row.
A report submitted with the application concludes that the site is a sustainable and acceptable location for residential development.
The report notes: “It is clear from protracted pre-application discussions regarding the site that the main issue will whether it is a suitable location for new residential development.
“It is considered that the application site is an infill site within Middleton St George. Although the outdated Local Plan indicates that Middleton St George and Middleton One Row are two separate settlements, in real terms they are adjoined and effectively form a single settlement.”
Coun Jones said developers were falling over themselves to secure sites in Middleton St George but that the village would fight any applications submitted.
She said: “We are not Nimbys. We have a serious case of overcrowding in the village.
“The sewers can’t cope, children are going to schools in Teesside and Darlington because the primary school is full and the doctors surgery is full to bursting. We will have a major problem if these sites get the go-ahead.”
Coun York added: “The village is at its maximum. Everything is struggling now so what will it be like if there’s extra housing?”
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