Louise Baldock

Standing up for Stockton South

Ingleby Barwick Housing Development

Save Our Green Wedge: Campaign Update

New March 2015: Another application for 550 houses at Little Maltby Farm on the outskirts of Ingleby Barwick has been submitted. Yes, another one! Almost identical to the previous applications.

This is the third time these developers have tried to seek permission for these houses, we have fought them off twice, lets keep up the pressure to ensure they don't make it third time lucky.

Submit an object to the application 15/0497/OUT here.

The developer has also appealed against the rejection of plans to build 70 houses behind Regency Park, on the land which had been earmarked for school playing fields. There will be a planning enquiry on April 21st. As many people as possible need to put the date in their diary and turn up to object.


Back in November 2013 as a resident of Ingleby Barwick I was shocked to hear of a planning application to build 550 houses on the green fields south of the estate at Little Maltby Farm.

This was quickly followed by a second application for a further 550 houses to be built on adjacent land running along Low Lane and Thornaby Road.

With huge worries about the impact of so many dwellings on our traffic congestion, GP waiting times, school places and shortage of community facilities, there was fierce opposition and everywhere I went on the estate, knocking on doors, people were desperate to see this stopped.

I launched a petition in December 2013 calling on our Town and Borough Councils to stand firm with us against these developments and an informal residents’ campaign group sprang into action.

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We collected many hundreds of names on the petition, online, through Facebook and at Beckfields shops. Fully supported by our local councillors, residents and I spoke at several planning meetings last spring where we were careful to explain how Ingleby Barwick is creaking at the seams.

I also pointed out that the green wedge is important to the people of High Leven and Maltby too, nobody wants to see Ingleby Barwick extend down to Low Lane.

Thankfully both applications were unanimously rejected by councillors who paid attention to the petition and local strength of feeling.

Also rejected as a direct result of our campaign was a plan to build 70 houses behind Regency Park, on land which had been earmarked for school playing fields. The developer has since lodged an appeal and there will be a planning enquiry on April 21st. As many people as possible need to put the date in their diary and turn up to object.

Sadly the developers for the first lot of 550 houses appealed to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol so we sat for three days at considerable time and expense through a formal Enquiry in July where we explained the impact we feared would result.

The result of that enquiry was due in November but was late. I wrote to the Government several times urging them to make a decision, particularly because the developer for the second site had also now lodged an appeal and we had been notified of a further Enquiry to take place in February.

I asked how Ingleby Barwick people could be expected to fight a second time, when we didn’t yet know the outcome of the first appeal.

We had excellent newspaper coverage throughout the campaign and I think it was that which finally forced the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles MP into making his mind up. I am delighted that he backed our campaign and turned down the application.

I then called upon the local land owner for the second site to withdraw his appeal and give us all – and our green wedge - some much needed respite. On January 30th I was informed he has withdrawn although with a veiled threat which I don’t think is at all neighbourly.

His spokesman, Steve Barker of Prism Planning said “If the homes aren’t built here, they will have to be built elsewhere in the borough and I don’t think many people will be pleased if yet another Yarm scheme comes forward instead.”

It has long been Labour’s policy that house builders should choose brown field sites first and many excellent estates were built in Stockton and Thornaby under the last Labour Government on the sites of former factories and industrial estates (like Visqueen for instance or Bowesfield Industrial Estate) or through housing renewal programmes (like the Jewels estate in Mandale). It is unacceptable that the only land which builders will now consider are our green fields, freed up by the Conservative’s National Planning Policy Framework which removed the need to prioritise brown field sites. A future Labour Government would restore this.

I am sure you will agree with me that it is particularly unacceptable that developers should try to set our local communities against each other in this way.

This has been an excellent result for people power and partnership working; it proves that when we pull together we can make a difference. I pay tribute to all my neighbours across Ingleby Barwick, fully supported by our local town and borough councillors, who joined me in a tremendous campaign.

You will have seen a leaflet from our MP saying he has personally stopped the houses plan. Despite his trumpeting, the MP couldn’t have written asking the Secretary of State to turn down the plans after the Inspector had made his recommendation because the report was for Mr Pickles’ eyes only and he could not have known what it contained. Having not written a single letter of objection, signed our petition or attended any of the meetings, for him to claim credit for the sterling efforts of our community is disappointing.

Another application for 550 houses at Little Maltby Farm on the outskirts of Ingleby Barwick has been submitted. Yes, another one! Almost identical to the previous applications.

This is the third time these developers have tried to seek permission for these houses, we have fought them off twice, lets keep up the pressure to ensure they don't make it third time lucky.

You can object to the application 15/0497/OUT here: http://www.developmentmanagement.stockton.gov.uk/online-applications/


 

Other posts by Louise on this issue:

Louise urges residents to object to resubmitted application for 550 houses at Little Maltby Farm (March 2015)

Update on Planning Inquiry into the building of 550 houses on fields outside Ingleby Barwick (July 2014)

Latest news on Ingleby Barwick housing applications (May 2014)

The facts about controversial housing development (May 2014)

Update: New application for housing in Ingleby Barwick (70 Houses) (March 2014)

Planning committee reject 550 houses on Low Lane (Feb 2014)

Important update on Ingleby Barwick 1100 houses (Feb 2014)

Say no to housing building on our green wedge (Dec 2013)

Tories open housing floodgates in Ingleby Barwick (Nov 2013)

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