Application to build housing estate in Middleton St George is turned down by planning officers

The Northern Echo: Application to build housing estate in Middleton St George is turned down by planning officers Application to build housing estate in Middleton St George is turned down by planning officers

A CONTROVERSIAL application for a housing estate on the edge of a Darlington village has been turned down by planning officers on the grounds that it could ruin the character of the area.

The application to build 76 homes on a greenfield site in Middleton Lane, Middleton St George, sparked concern among village residents, who feared it would open the floodgates to more development and put a strain on local amenities.

More than 150 objections were submitted to Darlington Borough Council’s planning department, as well as a petition that gathered hundreds of signatures against the development.

Developer Gentoo had been looking to build a mix of detached and semi-detached family homes on the site, which lies between Middleton St George and Middleton One Row.

Planning officers at the council used delegated powers to refuse the application, without it going to a formal committee hearing. The developer has the right to appeal the decision to the planning inspectorate.

In a report explaining the delegated decision, planning officers noted a number of reasons for refusal:

  • The proposed site is outside the development limits for the village, which could threaten its character and the appearance of the countryside
  • The proposal would generate additional impacts on local infrastructure, particularly the village primary school and doctors surgery, the road network and public transport
  • A large number of trees, including some covered by Tree Preservation Orders, would need to be cut down at the site.

The decision has been welcomed by Councillors Doris Jones and Steve York, who represent the village at Darlington Borough Council, although both recognised that the developer is entitled to appeal.

The parish council agreed last week to increase the precept by almost £10 for a Band D property next year to raise £12,000 to create a Neighbourhood Plan, which will give the village a say on future developments.

Coun Jones said: “We are delighted, but we feel it’s only a small breather. It gives us time to prepare for the appeal and work on our Neighbourhood Plan.

“We might have won the battle, but we are a long way from winning the war.”

Comments (10)

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3:48pm Mon 20 Jan 14

bones26 says...

ruin the character of the area ,does this mean the village area or the doris jones area .so its ok to overcrowd the central area of the village ,but because these new houses are getting closer to the stuck up there own arses area where doris jones lives it gets a no no .get a grip you posh snobs of middleton one row .
ruin the character of the area ,does this mean the village area or the doris jones area .so its ok to overcrowd the central area of the village ,but because these new houses are getting closer to the stuck up there own arses area where doris jones lives it gets a no no .get a grip you posh snobs of middleton one row . bones26
  • Score: -1

3:57pm Mon 20 Jan 14

settheworldonfire says...

bones26 wrote:
ruin the character of the area ,does this mean the village area or the doris jones area .so its ok to overcrowd the central area of the village ,but because these new houses are getting closer to the stuck up there own arses area where doris jones lives it gets a no no .get a grip you posh snobs of middleton one row .
Well said.....I take it she is a councilor?
Or is she just a N.I.M.B.Y.?
This village needs new blood into it and i take it the children of those who live there now will not have anywhere in the future.
I would re-apply to the government ombudsman about this.
[quote][p][bold]bones26[/bold] wrote: ruin the character of the area ,does this mean the village area or the doris jones area .so its ok to overcrowd the central area of the village ,but because these new houses are getting closer to the stuck up there own arses area where doris jones lives it gets a no no .get a grip you posh snobs of middleton one row .[/p][/quote]Well said.....I take it she is a councilor? Or is she just a N.I.M.B.Y.? This village needs new blood into it and i take it the children of those who live there now will not have anywhere in the future. I would re-apply to the government ombudsman about this. settheworldonfire
  • Score: -10

5:17pm Mon 20 Jan 14

joedarlo45 says...

"Planning officers at the council used delegated powers to refuse the application, without it going to a formal committee hearing. The developer has the right to appeal the decision to the planning inspectorate. "

So the Council say no....so it goes to appeal...and they say YES....a couple of trees with self preservation orders on, is not a good enough reason for refusal, and as for amenities stretched in the village eg schools and Doctors...they both get more money for all that use them, so any increase in numbers makes them all better off........gets you a bigger school and surgery...and if the councillor is really doing her job, extra rates collected, could bring the rates for all...down.....
"Planning officers at the council used delegated powers to refuse the application, without it going to a formal committee hearing. The developer has the right to appeal the decision to the planning inspectorate. " So the Council say no....so it goes to appeal...and they say YES....a couple of trees with self preservation orders on, is not a good enough reason for refusal, and as for amenities stretched in the village eg schools and Doctors...they both get more money for all that use them, so any increase in numbers makes them all better off........gets you a bigger school and surgery...and if the councillor is really doing her job, extra rates collected, could bring the rates for all...down..... joedarlo45
  • Score: -10

6:23pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Spy Boy says...

Sounds like the first step of the bargaining process. No, you can't have the land for housing. Your move. How bad do you want it ? If there is a large development in the offing, the developer may be asked to include something for the community. This could be an extension to a school, clinic, or other local amenity. There appears to be plenty of space over there and there is a nice new road to provide access. It's hardly needed for airport traffic these days.
Sounds like the first step of the bargaining process. No, you can't have the land for housing. Your move. How bad do you want it ? If there is a large development in the offing, the developer may be asked to include something for the community. This could be an extension to a school, clinic, or other local amenity. There appears to be plenty of space over there and there is a nice new road to provide access. It's hardly needed for airport traffic these days. Spy Boy
  • Score: -13

6:25pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Spy Boy says...

"Planning officers at the council used delegated powers to refuse the application, without it going to a formal committee hearing."

I don't like this bit. Open to abuse. No formal hearing, no minutes.
"Planning officers at the council used delegated powers to refuse the application, without it going to a formal committee hearing." I don't like this bit. Open to abuse. No formal hearing, no minutes. Spy Boy
  • Score: -5

6:45pm Mon 20 Jan 14

BOBINS says...

Well all I can say is it is blatantly obvious none of you that have comented live in the village. There are several developments under consideration, this one, one on farmland on the edge of Sadberge Road and on land on the airport.
This is not a case of NIMBY, the developers can't offer a sweetener to extend the school (there isn't enough land to extend in any direction) the doctors surgery is already full to capacity and is cutting people not living in the village out to try and fit those in the village in and as for the drains, well to get them to a standard where it would be suitable for 1000+ additional bodies to live in this space would be a feat of civil engineering that Darlington has never seen before..... Feel free to dislike the fact that the plan has been turned down but before you slate those who were campaigning against it, take the time to look at where the building site it and look into the problems around the area!!!!!
Well all I can say is it is blatantly obvious none of you that have comented live in the village. There are several developments under consideration, this one, one on farmland on the edge of Sadberge Road and on land on the airport. This is not a case of NIMBY, the developers can't offer a sweetener to extend the school (there isn't enough land to extend in any direction) the doctors surgery is already full to capacity and is cutting people not living in the village out to try and fit those in the village in and as for the drains, well to get them to a standard where it would be suitable for 1000+ additional bodies to live in this space would be a feat of civil engineering that Darlington has never seen before..... Feel free to dislike the fact that the plan has been turned down but before you slate those who were campaigning against it, take the time to look at where the building site it and look into the problems around the area!!!!! BOBINS
  • Score: 16

7:31pm Mon 20 Jan 14

roy robbo says...

Well said bobbins, i,m msg born and bred, and in my time i have witnessed the destruction of a great little community and all village industry lost to housing, any future building work should be targetted at the youngsters in the village that have no real amenities that cater youths or teenagers...
Well said bobbins, i,m msg born and bred, and in my time i have witnessed the destruction of a great little community and all village industry lost to housing, any future building work should be targetted at the youngsters in the village that have no real amenities that cater youths or teenagers... roy robbo
  • Score: 10

7:52pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Huntingtower says...

There are real issues within Middleton St George at the moment that mean developments like these can't just go ahead with careful thought. If at all. This decision by planners is an acknowledgment that these issues exist and are real and those looking in are quick to judge but the facts speak for themselves;

The school is over subscribed year on year. Thirteen children starting school in 2012 that live less than a mile away from the school are sent (by taxi and at the expense of the council tax payer) to schools elsewhere in the borough. In the next intake this number is expected to be even higher. The knock on effect comes at secondary level when again children will be shipped to schools across the borough. New homes create demand for school places - these places don't exist. The school cannot extend - this has been explored.

The doctors surgery can take no more patients - the partners gave this feedback during the consultation.

In 2007 and again in 2012 and 2013 several homes were flooded in MSG because of the ancient sewerage system in place. This development would have hooked into that sewerage system added more waste and water to an over loaded system. I would invite anyone to walk down Middleton Lane and inhale after a heavy rainfall - it's awful. Not to mention the surface water issue... This has to be tackled. The sewer pipes in Middleton Lane are from the early 1900s.

Access and egress - 150 extra cars onto Middleton Lane? The only access road through the village that has a footpath on one aside only and has an over crowded and dangerous traffic junction at one end? Really? It's just not viable.

Oh and by the way - there are 88 houses for sale in MSG - there isn't really a housing shortage. Prices range from 89k to 800k

This isn't nimby ism or political point scoring - it's common sense.
There are real issues within Middleton St George at the moment that mean developments like these can't just go ahead with careful thought. If at all. This decision by planners is an acknowledgment that these issues exist and are real and those looking in are quick to judge but the facts speak for themselves; The school is over subscribed year on year. Thirteen children starting school in 2012 that live less than a mile away from the school are sent (by taxi and at the expense of the council tax payer) to schools elsewhere in the borough. In the next intake this number is expected to be even higher. The knock on effect comes at secondary level when again children will be shipped to schools across the borough. New homes create demand for school places - these places don't exist. The school cannot extend - this has been explored. The doctors surgery can take no more patients - the partners gave this feedback during the consultation. In 2007 and again in 2012 and 2013 several homes were flooded in MSG because of the ancient sewerage system in place. This development would have hooked into that sewerage system added more waste and water to an over loaded system. I would invite anyone to walk down Middleton Lane and inhale after a heavy rainfall - it's awful. Not to mention the surface water issue... This has to be tackled. The sewer pipes in Middleton Lane are from the early 1900s. Access and egress - 150 extra cars onto Middleton Lane? The only access road through the village that has a footpath on one aside only and has an over crowded and dangerous traffic junction at one end? Really? It's just not viable. Oh and by the way - there are 88 houses for sale in MSG - there isn't really a housing shortage. Prices range from 89k to 800k This isn't nimby ism or political point scoring - it's common sense. Huntingtower
  • Score: 17

8:51pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Itscoldoutthere says...

This decision is based on firm existing planning principles not NIMBYism. As professional who has often worked for developers on schemes I know from experience the best the village would get from a developer is a small play park and minimal highway improvements ( obligations on developers are continually being eroded) this will in no way compensate for the problems a development like this will cause and the irrevocable damage it will make to the village in many ways.. Developments like this are unlikely to add much in terms of affordable family accommodation to the village (the developer didn't even meet the minimum required by the council) , it was designed and conceived as a high profit return and the houses were of the type that would be at the higher end of the market. Sustainable development (in the broad definition rather than just the eco version) is a good idea for the borough -this was not sustainable and was rightly refused.
This decision is based on firm existing planning principles not NIMBYism. As professional who has often worked for developers on schemes I know from experience the best the village would get from a developer is a small play park and minimal highway improvements ( obligations on developers are continually being eroded) this will in no way compensate for the problems a development like this will cause and the irrevocable damage it will make to the village in many ways.. Developments like this are unlikely to add much in terms of affordable family accommodation to the village (the developer didn't even meet the minimum required by the council) , it was designed and conceived as a high profit return and the houses were of the type that would be at the higher end of the market. Sustainable development (in the broad definition rather than just the eco version) is a good idea for the borough -this was not sustainable and was rightly refused. Itscoldoutthere
  • Score: 11

7:34am Tue 21 Jan 14

SirLance says...

Makes the airport housing development more plausible methinks!
Makes the airport housing development more plausible methinks! SirLance
  • Score: 2

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