THERE were more criticisms today (July 16) of a developer trying to get a further 550 homes built on green fields at a planning inquiry.

Jersey-based Tiviot Way Investments and developers Satnam want to built the homes next to a planned new free school in Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton.

The Low Lane school, originally associated with just 250 new homes, has been described as being used as a “Trojan Horse” because once permission was granted for the school it was easier for other developers to get permission for more houses.

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Stockton Borough Council’s planning committee rejected the plan for the new homes on the grounds that it was on “green wedge” land that divides Ingleby Barwick and Thornaby.

The developers appealed to the Secretary of State for Communities, Eric Pickles, arguing the plan complies with a number of the council’s own policies to create sustainable homes and affordable housing.

Louise Baldock, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Stockton South and an Ingleby Barwick resident, spoke out against the development at the hearing, held at Stockton Tabernacle.

She stressed that the last piece of development for Ingleby Barwick was supposed to be in The Rings area and the new plans were outside the agreed town boundaries. She argued there was a lack for facilities in the area and the new homes would make matters worse.

Addressing the planning inspector she said: “I ask you to recognise that (allowing this) plan would damage the existing community, further damage our environment and encourage into the green wedge.”

Another application, also for 550 homes, by Prism Planning, has been submitted to the authority the same area.

The planning inquiry is expected to conclude tomorrow (July 17).