A CONTROVERSIAL scheme to build playing fields on land at Egglescliffe village have been recommended for approval when councillors meet this week.
Yarm School wants to build 11 playing fields and a sports pavilion on the northern bank of the River Tees opposite Yarm, on Tees Heritage Park land.
The proposals include a new footbridge over the Tees, 1.5km of new public footpaths and a car park.
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A Stockton Borough Council planning meeting meet on Wednesday (January 16) to consider the plans, which officers have already recommended for approval.
Shane Sellers, chair of the Egglescliffe Area Residents Association said he was “extremely disappointed” at the recommendation and said residents would attend the meeting in force to highlight the strength of feeling.
“The setting of the proposed car park opposite the Cleveland Bay traffic lights on Yarm bridge is ludicrous," he said. "It is a ludicrous place to put a car park because the traffic will be terrible.
“The development of the playing fields is the thin end of the wedge. Other developments are bound to follow.
“It is the impact on the Tees Heritage Park which concerns us – an area which Stockton council has been looking at preserving in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
“There will be playing fields smack bang in the middle of it."
He said residents of Minerva View were concerned at the intrusive height of the bridge while others were concerned that the plans would encourage anti-social behaviour in the area.
However Christopher Harrison, of NLP, the company submitting the plans on behalf of Yarm School, said the police had not raised any concerns.
He said: “The officer’s recommendation to approve planning permission comes after many months of work and it is something we and Yarm School welcome.
“Over the last six months we have worked with consultants, the community and others to demonstrate the acceptability of the scheme through evidence.
“We believe the scheme is satisfactory in planning terms. It complies with land wedge issues and the Tees Heritage Park. There are already examples of playing fields and golf courses on the heritage park.
Yarm School is also hoping to sell off its existing playing fields in Green Lane to allow developers to build up to 735 new homes.