PLANS to build 550 new homes in Ingleby Barwick have been rejected.

The application by Tivot investments marks the second time developers have tried to gain permission to build on a greenfield site in the area after reviewing their original plans.

It is likely both applications will be submitted for appeal.

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The 550-home plans were devised after a separate, 350-house plan which included a ‘free’ school was given permission by the Government, after originally being refused by Stockton Borough Council.

Many people in Ingleby Barwick, including the Ingleby Barwick Independent group on the council, wanted the school but not the extra homes.

Previously, Tivot Investments had submitted an application to Stockton Council seeking opinion for a development of up to 550 homes near Low Lane.

When that was rejected, Tiviot both appealed the decision and submitted a new, amended application, which was in turn unanimously rejected by Stockton Borough Council’s planning committee meeting on Wednesday.

Yet another plan, by Prism Planning, for a similar number of homes, has also been rejected by the council on a previous occasion. But, once again, an appeal is expected to be lodged with the Government.

The planning committee councillors argue that the homes would be built on protected ‘green wedge’ land and the increase in population would not be sustainable. However the developers point out that the Government allowed the free school and initial 350 homes to be built and that the council has a housing shortage which it is obliged by the Government to address.

Cllr Bob Gibson, chairman of Stockton’s planning committee, said: “Some of us warned at the time that the free school would bring about 900 homes and that has happened – it’s a scandal.”

Cllr Jim Beall, deputy leader of the council, said children in the new homes would use up the extra school places created by the new secondary school. He said: “This is going to leave us where we started off. It’s just madness."

However Colin Griffiths, of Tiviot Investments, said the council’s own officers had argued the application be approved and there would be enough ‘green wedge’ land left to separate the development from other areas.

It is expected Tiviot will appeal the decision despite already lodging an appeal for its original application.

After the meeting Louise Baldock, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Stockton South, who lives in Ingleby Barwick, said people in the suburb were being “worn down” and “disheartened” by all the applications, but she urged them not to give up.