Adventurous plans for Middleton St George could transform the village

The Advertiser Series: DEVELOPEMENT PLANS: The play area and field at Middleton St. George. Picture: STUART BOULTON DEVELOPEMENT PLANS: The play area and field at Middleton St. George. Picture: STUART BOULTON

A BOLD plan that could see a village sacrifice its play area to build much-needed shops and a medical centre has been revealed in a bid by the parish council to beat housing developers at their own game.

Councillors admit the proposals for the future of Middleton St George will be controversial, but said they hope people will agree with the plan once they realise the benefits it could bring.

The draft proposals for the Middleton St George development plan, a legally binding document outlining accepted development in the village up to 2025, look to provide the housing, shops and facilities needed in the area, while also preventing large-scale developments that add houses without improving the village.

A drop-in event where residents can hear more details of the proposals will be held on Saturday, July 12.

The proposals put forward by the parish council include:

• Using the playing field, off Station Road, to create a Neighbourhood Hub - a parade of single-storey shops, a medical centre with integrated pharmacy, parking and a play area;

• Allowing housing, in particular starter homes and bungalows for older people, to be built on unused land off Yarm Road, backing on to the railway line;

• Revitalising the recreational facilities in the Water Park to make it a place for people of all ages to spend time relaxing and exercising.

Councillor Doris Jones, chairwoman of the parish council, admitted that she had been horrified when the proposals to build on the play area had first been suggested.

But she added: “We appreciate the idea of using the play park to build on will be controversial but it’s not very well used because it gets pretty muddy and the equipment is old.

“By using that land for development, we can create better facilities for the people that live here.

“We don’t know how many shops yet or what they will include – we want people to come along to the consultation and tell us what they want to see. If they don’t want shops there, they can tell us and come up with an alternative.”

The parish council has been working on the neighbourhood plan for months after becoming concerned about the number of speculative planning applications for large housing estates in the village.

The plan, which must pass a local referendum, allows the village to outline permitted development for the coming years.

There is no option to reject development outright and the parish council has decided to make its own proposals that improve the village for its existing residents, rather than rely on the suggestions of outsiders looking to develop land for financial gain.

Cllr Jones added: “We have become a small town of 5,000 people but we still have facilities for a small village.

“People told us that the village has lost its centre, has no parking, shops or services.

“The GPs are on board for the new medical centre and it would allow them to offer many more services than they currently do.

“It’s very adventurous. We would give up an acre of land but we would gain so much more.”

Glen McGill, a planning consultant working with the parish council, said: “We’ve based the strategy on what people told us in the consultation – we’ve not come up with them out of thin air.

“We won’t please everybody but these developments will allow us to do so much more to improve the village.”

The drop-in session to discuss the proposals will take place between 10.30am and 3.30pm at St George's Primary School and will feature sketches and maps of the proposals.

Members of the parish council and the planning consultants will be available to answer questions.

For more details visit MSGplan.org.uk or search for ‘Residents against the over-development of Middleton St George’ on Facebook.

Comments (13)

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11:00am Sun 6 Jul 14

DarloXman says...

First thoughts - sounds good. Definitely need a village centre - but must have adequate parking.

Certainly better use could be made of the water park.

Will come along on the 12th!
First thoughts - sounds good. Definitely need a village centre - but must have adequate parking. Certainly better use could be made of the water park. Will come along on the 12th! DarloXman
  • Score: 4

12:49pm Sun 6 Jul 14

George1965 says...

You'll soon have lots of concrete and Tarmac to park on, albeit a little out of the village centre, you know that place, used to be an airport.
You'll soon have lots of concrete and Tarmac to park on, albeit a little out of the village centre, you know that place, used to be an airport. George1965
  • Score: 12

6:08pm Sun 6 Jul 14

msgresident says...

I suspect that the residents will be considerably more horrified at losing their actively used play/sports fields and well used, modern play ground than they are by some new houses. We are not a small town, but a fine grained historic village. A new 1960's shopping parade horror is not the answer. The GP's are on board you say? What to build a new medical centre to offer more services and a pharmacy, thereby making them more money? You surprise me. How about fixing the drainage so that the playground isn't muddy? How about upgrading/expanding the play equipment? How about actually doing something with the existing community centre to make it fit for purpose so that it that is can act as the heart of the village? But wait, that's owned by the Parish Council so presumably a sacred cow; better leave that alone then.
I suspect that the residents will be considerably more horrified at losing their actively used play/sports fields and well used, modern play ground than they are by some new houses. We are not a small town, but a fine grained historic village. A new 1960's shopping parade horror is not the answer. The GP's are on board you say? What to build a new medical centre to offer more services and a pharmacy, thereby making them more money? You surprise me. How about fixing the drainage so that the playground isn't muddy? How about upgrading/expanding the play equipment? How about actually doing something with the existing community centre to make it fit for purpose so that it that is can act as the heart of the village? But wait, that's owned by the Parish Council so presumably a sacred cow; better leave that alone then. msgresident
  • Score: 27

6:32pm Sun 6 Jul 14

Trevorjordache says...

Doris doesn't care what happens as long as it's at the opposite end of the village , put the medical centre and shops on Middleton lane and watch how fast Doris backtracks.
Doris doesn't care what happens as long as it's at the opposite end of the village , put the medical centre and shops on Middleton lane and watch how fast Doris backtracks. Trevorjordache
  • Score: 15

7:37pm Sun 6 Jul 14

msg expat says...

What a ridiculous and awful idea, building on the only decent sized green land in the middle of the village. We do need a bigger and better medical centre so why not put it next to the railway lines instead of housing. Build a couple of shop units in front of or beside the Community Centre and improve the parking there. Lay a proper footpath around the Water Park. Encourage the Havelock to allow people to use it's unused car park when visiting the shops there. Build the bungalows over the road from the Fighting ****, next to the existing bungalows. I'd love to attend the drop in session but I'll be away so how about having more than one drop in session?
What a ridiculous and awful idea, building on the only decent sized green land in the middle of the village. We do need a bigger and better medical centre so why not put it next to the railway lines instead of housing. Build a couple of shop units in front of or beside the Community Centre and improve the parking there. Lay a proper footpath around the Water Park. Encourage the Havelock to allow people to use it's unused car park when visiting the shops there. Build the bungalows over the road from the Fighting ****, next to the existing bungalows. I'd love to attend the drop in session but I'll be away so how about having more than one drop in session? msg expat
  • Score: 19

7:46pm Sun 6 Jul 14

msgresident says...

Trevorjordache. Quite. Interesting how proposals to build on an empty green field on Middleton Lane (where I live incidentally) commands the full wrath of cllr Doris and yet here she is promoting building on a green open space that is actually well used by the community that she supposedly represents.

One hopes that the hubris will be curtailed in part by the sheer volume of outrage this is currently being expressed on social media by parents of children in the village. Since when was getting rid of children's facilities good for a political future??
Trevorjordache. Quite. Interesting how proposals to build on an empty green field on Middleton Lane (where I live incidentally) commands the full wrath of cllr Doris and yet here she is promoting building on a green open space that is actually well used by the community that she supposedly represents. One hopes that the hubris will be curtailed in part by the sheer volume of outrage this is currently being expressed on social media by parents of children in the village. Since when was getting rid of children's facilities good for a political future?? msgresident
  • Score: 15

9:07pm Sun 6 Jul 14

Spugg333 says...

Are we not already serviced well with two general dealers (inc post office). Pizza takeaway,an Indian restaurant,two hairdressers and a barbers shop in the village..? What other shop would we realistically need that wouldn't put these already established businesses in jeopardy?
When I moved into the village,I contacted the parish council with respect to the anti-social behaviour of youths in cars on the small carpark on the playing field,and the possibility of future gypsy occupancy.! A gate was fitted and up to date we have had no reaccurance of this, but with a larger Doctors surgery/shop carpark to play in,I fear this will become a glass/can ridden race track and sound-off place for youths to congregate..!! My opinion is there is little to gain for most residents but a lot to lose..!!
Are we not already serviced well with two general dealers (inc post office). Pizza takeaway,an Indian restaurant,two hairdressers and a barbers shop in the village..? What other shop would we realistically need that wouldn't put these already established businesses in jeopardy? When I moved into the village,I contacted the parish council with respect to the anti-social behaviour of youths in cars on the small carpark on the playing field,and the possibility of future gypsy occupancy.! A gate was fitted and up to date we have had no reaccurance of this, but with a larger Doctors surgery/shop carpark to play in,I fear this will become a glass/can ridden race track and sound-off place for youths to congregate..!! My opinion is there is little to gain for most residents but a lot to lose..!! Spugg333
  • Score: 11

1:16pm Mon 7 Jul 14

msg expat says...

Spugg333 wrote:
Are we not already serviced well with two general dealers (inc post office). Pizza takeaway,an Indian restaurant,two hairdressers and a barbers shop in the village..? What other shop would we realistically need that wouldn't put these already established businesses in jeopardy?
When I moved into the village,I contacted the parish council with respect to the anti-social behaviour of youths in cars on the small carpark on the playing field,and the possibility of future gypsy occupancy.! A gate was fitted and up to date we have had no reaccurance of this, but with a larger Doctors surgery/shop carpark to play in,I fear this will become a glass/can ridden race track and sound-off place for youths to congregate..!! My opinion is there is little to gain for most residents but a lot to lose..!!
The only shops the wife and I could think of was a butchers and maybe a bakers but the latter might struggle with Morrisons being so close.
[quote][p][bold]Spugg333[/bold] wrote: Are we not already serviced well with two general dealers (inc post office). Pizza takeaway,an Indian restaurant,two hairdressers and a barbers shop in the village..? What other shop would we realistically need that wouldn't put these already established businesses in jeopardy? When I moved into the village,I contacted the parish council with respect to the anti-social behaviour of youths in cars on the small carpark on the playing field,and the possibility of future gypsy occupancy.! A gate was fitted and up to date we have had no reaccurance of this, but with a larger Doctors surgery/shop carpark to play in,I fear this will become a glass/can ridden race track and sound-off place for youths to congregate..!! My opinion is there is little to gain for most residents but a lot to lose..!![/p][/quote]The only shops the wife and I could think of was a butchers and maybe a bakers but the latter might struggle with Morrisons being so close. msg expat
  • Score: 1

1:54pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Spugg333 says...

msg expat wrote:
Spugg333 wrote:
Are we not already serviced well with two general dealers (inc post office). Pizza takeaway,an Indian restaurant,two hairdressers and a barbers shop in the village..? What other shop would we realistically need that wouldn't put these already established businesses in jeopardy?
When I moved into the village,I contacted the parish council with respect to the anti-social behaviour of youths in cars on the small carpark on the playing field,and the possibility of future gypsy occupancy.! A gate was fitted and up to date we have had no reaccurance of this, but with a larger Doctors surgery/shop carpark to play in,I fear this will become a glass/can ridden race track and sound-off place for youths to congregate..!! My opinion is there is little to gain for most residents but a lot to lose..!!
The only shops the wife and I could think of was a butchers and maybe a bakers but the latter might struggle with Morrisons being so close.
Thanks for your input 'msg expat' but 'Londis' sells all of the produce you have mentioned and so you may get a larger variety with other retailers but does this warrant the loss of 'green belt' for the sake of an additional Choice of pastries.? I and my close neighbours bought our homes for their favourable outlook and serenity not to have Greggs,Tesco and Boots delivery trucks rumbling along Woodlands Green at all hours.!
[quote][p][bold]msg expat[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Spugg333[/bold] wrote: Are we not already serviced well with two general dealers (inc post office). Pizza takeaway,an Indian restaurant,two hairdressers and a barbers shop in the village..? What other shop would we realistically need that wouldn't put these already established businesses in jeopardy? When I moved into the village,I contacted the parish council with respect to the anti-social behaviour of youths in cars on the small carpark on the playing field,and the possibility of future gypsy occupancy.! A gate was fitted and up to date we have had no reaccurance of this, but with a larger Doctors surgery/shop carpark to play in,I fear this will become a glass/can ridden race track and sound-off place for youths to congregate..!! My opinion is there is little to gain for most residents but a lot to lose..!![/p][/quote]The only shops the wife and I could think of was a butchers and maybe a bakers but the latter might struggle with Morrisons being so close.[/p][/quote]Thanks for your input 'msg expat' but 'Londis' sells all of the produce you have mentioned and so you may get a larger variety with other retailers but does this warrant the loss of 'green belt' for the sake of an additional Choice of pastries.? I and my close neighbours bought our homes for their favourable outlook and serenity not to have Greggs,Tesco and Boots delivery trucks rumbling along Woodlands Green at all hours.! Spugg333
  • Score: 0

4:17pm Mon 7 Jul 14

msg expat says...

Spugg333 wrote:
msg expat wrote:
Spugg333 wrote:
Are we not already serviced well with two general dealers (inc post office). Pizza takeaway,an Indian restaurant,two hairdressers and a barbers shop in the village..? What other shop would we realistically need that wouldn't put these already established businesses in jeopardy?
When I moved into the village,I contacted the parish council with respect to the anti-social behaviour of youths in cars on the small carpark on the playing field,and the possibility of future gypsy occupancy.! A gate was fitted and up to date we have had no reaccurance of this, but with a larger Doctors surgery/shop carpark to play in,I fear this will become a glass/can ridden race track and sound-off place for youths to congregate..!! My opinion is there is little to gain for most residents but a lot to lose..!!
The only shops the wife and I could think of was a butchers and maybe a bakers but the latter might struggle with Morrisons being so close.
Thanks for your input 'msg expat' but 'Londis' sells all of the produce you have mentioned and so you may get a larger variety with other retailers but does this warrant the loss of 'green belt' for the sake of an additional Choice of pastries.? I and my close neighbours bought our homes for their favourable outlook and serenity not to have Greggs,Tesco and Boots delivery trucks rumbling along Woodlands Green at all hours.!
Spugg333, if you read my earlier post you'll see that we're singing from the same hymn sheet. In my last comment I was trying to make the point, in agreement with you, that we really don't need much more in the village and NOTHING should be built on the play field. It's an important space in the middle of the village which is well used by the kids. My own spent hours there when they were younger and as more houses are built (which will happen) more kids will be able to enjoy the space.
[quote][p][bold]Spugg333[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]msg expat[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Spugg333[/bold] wrote: Are we not already serviced well with two general dealers (inc post office). Pizza takeaway,an Indian restaurant,two hairdressers and a barbers shop in the village..? What other shop would we realistically need that wouldn't put these already established businesses in jeopardy? When I moved into the village,I contacted the parish council with respect to the anti-social behaviour of youths in cars on the small carpark on the playing field,and the possibility of future gypsy occupancy.! A gate was fitted and up to date we have had no reaccurance of this, but with a larger Doctors surgery/shop carpark to play in,I fear this will become a glass/can ridden race track and sound-off place for youths to congregate..!! My opinion is there is little to gain for most residents but a lot to lose..!![/p][/quote]The only shops the wife and I could think of was a butchers and maybe a bakers but the latter might struggle with Morrisons being so close.[/p][/quote]Thanks for your input 'msg expat' but 'Londis' sells all of the produce you have mentioned and so you may get a larger variety with other retailers but does this warrant the loss of 'green belt' for the sake of an additional Choice of pastries.? I and my close neighbours bought our homes for their favourable outlook and serenity not to have Greggs,Tesco and Boots delivery trucks rumbling along Woodlands Green at all hours.![/p][/quote]Spugg333, if you read my earlier post you'll see that we're singing from the same hymn sheet. In my last comment I was trying to make the point, in agreement with you, that we really don't need much more in the village and NOTHING should be built on the play field. It's an important space in the middle of the village which is well used by the kids. My own spent hours there when they were younger and as more houses are built (which will happen) more kids will be able to enjoy the space. msg expat
  • Score: 1

1:50am Wed 9 Jul 14

MiddletonStGeorge Resident says...

Would it not be possible to have something built further near the airport as I live in the estate near the oak tree making a little issue such as running out of milk turning into a 1 mile walk if not further to the local shop!
Would it not be possible to have something built further near the airport as I live in the estate near the oak tree making a little issue such as running out of milk turning into a 1 mile walk if not further to the local shop! MiddletonStGeorge Resident
  • Score: 3

10:23am Thu 10 Jul 14

Mundungus says...

The young people of Middleton St George who use this space have no voice and are unable to represent themselves, so of course the Parish Council have chosen to steam roller over them. Residents must have the courage to stand up against this proposed plan and represent the views of those who cannot represent themselves. Of course residents would like to see improved service in the village, but not at the expense of our precious green open space.
The young people of Middleton St George who use this space have no voice and are unable to represent themselves, so of course the Parish Council have chosen to steam roller over them. Residents must have the courage to stand up against this proposed plan and represent the views of those who cannot represent themselves. Of course residents would like to see improved service in the village, but not at the expense of our precious green open space. Mundungus
  • Score: 8

6:39pm Thu 10 Jul 14

MSG says...

The neighbourhood Plan proposed by the Parish council requires a parish referendum later in the year. If you are against the proposal to build on the park then vote the Plan down. Also the two ward councillors are up for election in spring 2015, stand against them on a "No development of the park" platform, you may win !
The neighbourhood Plan proposed by the Parish council requires a parish referendum later in the year. If you are against the proposal to build on the park then vote the Plan down. Also the two ward councillors are up for election in spring 2015, stand against them on a "No development of the park" platform, you may win ! MSG
  • Score: 8
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