YET another plan to build hundreds of new homes on land adjacent to a planned new ‘free school’ in south Stockton has been rejected.

However it expected that, once again, developers will appeal Stockton Borough Council’s rejection of a plan to build 550 homes at the corner of Thornaby Road and Low Lane in Ingleby Barwick.

This is the third time controversial planning applications to build at the site has been rejected by Stockton Borough Council’s planning committee.

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The first application was to build a free school with 350 homes and that was supported by MP James Wharton.

It was rejected by the council but that decision was eventually overturned by secretary of state for local government, Eric Pickles.

Following Mr Pickles’ decision, two other applications were received by the council, both to build 550 homes.

One application by Jersey-based developers Tiviot Investments, was unanimously rejected by the committee in February but will be considered by Mr Pickles in the coming months.

The other, by Prism Planning, was also unanimously rejected by the council on Wednesday, on the grounds it was on protected, ‘green wedge’ land that separated Thornaby from Ingleby Barwick. However, once again, an appeal is expected to be lodged with the Government.

Louise Baldock, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Stockton South, spoke at the meeting to present a petition with 90 names against the latest scheme. Another petition of more than 260 names had already been handed in to the council.

Ms Baldock said: “This housing development would be bigger than the villages of Maltby and Hilton put together.”

She said she had come across a case of a young family who wanted to move to the area but couldn’t because there were no primary school places, even before any new development.

James Wharton, speaking after the decision was made, explained that, although he had supported the initial housing so a free school could be built, he opposed the other applications.

He said: ““The council now needs to commit to fighting the appeal properly and with full and good quality legal representation.”

However both Ms Baldock and Mr Wharton were both criticised by Ingleby Barwick resident Ian Snowden, who also addressed the meeting.

He said: “The cynicism of our two parliamentary candidates is beyond belief. They’re both jumping on bandwagons and nimbyism to get elected. But what about the aspirations of many people who want to live in Ingleby Barwick?”