A DECISION on whether to allow the controversial building of hundreds of new homes on green land in Yarm will be made in the coming days.
New housing has become a highly controversial issue in the Yarm and Eaglescliffe area in the past year after major housing developments were allowed at Allens West and Morley Carr Farm.
The latest development would be for 370 homes close to Yarm School’s playing fields, south of Green Lane.
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A previous application to build 735 homes in the same area and on Yarm School’s playing fields was rejected by Stockton Borough Council in January because it encroached on green wedge land.
The smaller application, which has nothing to do with Yarm School, would cost about £36.6m.
Planners at Stockton Borough Council have recommended the new scheme be approved but have imposed conditions on the developers worth about £2m. They include: giving £500,000 to Conyers School in Eaglescliffe, either building an off-street car park near Yarm High Street or making a financial contribution of £280,000 and making 20 per cent of all the new homes “affordable” or at a cheaper price than the rest of the homes.
The council report says the investment could lead to 60 construction jobs and 70 supply chain jobs. The increased population could lead to a £1.6m annual boost the local economy and the council would receive about £1.3m extra in council tax receipts.
Christopher Harrison, director of Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NPL), who are representing the landowners, said: “This development is sustainable and takes into account the social effect of the scheme.”
However the council has received 87 objections many pointing to traffic and other infrastructure issues and the fact that approval has been given to build 800 new homes at Allens West, Eaglescliffe and 350 at Morley Carr Farm, in Yarm, with more applications expected.
Yarm town councillor, Marjorie Simpson, complained that the hundreds of objections to the original, larger application should still stand.
The objectors have won the support of Stockton South MP James Wharton who said: “The last thing we need is yet more houses, especially as this will break the line dividing Kirklevington Parish and Yarm.”
The issue will be discussed by Stockton Planning Committee on Wednesday, April 10, at 1.30pm in Stockton Baptist Tabernacle.