HOUSEHOLDERS have launched a campaign to stop a huge new industrial estate being built on their doorstep on prime agricultural land.

Residents of Leeming Bar are sending a “hands-off” warning to Hambleton District Council over the scheme to earmark more than 70 acres of land near the village for industrial development. More than 200 people have already signed a petition.

The proposal has been included by Hambleton as part of the local development plan for the next 20 years. It is one of 80 new plans being considered as part of a second stage consultation.

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Residents say they already have two industrial estates and the new one would be bigger than the existing ones combined. The proposal will extend the industrial estate to the north and east of Leeming Bar.

Spokesman Dr Matt Sawyer, a local GP, said residents at a parish meeting voted unanimously to object to the plans. He said: “We would ask the council to be mindful of its duty in protecting our local environment and to ensure that all development is needful, sustainable and uses brownfield sites wherever possible, not swathes of prime farmland and areas of beauty.

“We reject this proposal in the strongest terms as unnecessary, unsustainable and damaging to the health and wellbeing of our local community and our local environment.”

They say the industrial estates already imposed on Leeming Bar cause noise, traffic and light pollution and degrade the air quality. They warn there is already an on-going problem with trucks parked overnight, without sanitation for the drivers, so litter and bottles of urine are left discarded on the streets and in bushes.

Residents argue the area already has high employment and plenty of scope for local industry and commerce - with large numbers of workers already brought into the area by bus from Teesside to work on the existing industrial sites.

Dr Sawyer said residents felt it wasn’t fair to subject them to more after substantial development in the area over the past few years including a bypass, large numbers of new houses built and industrial encroachment.

Local businessman Paul Craggs, joint owner of Pembroke Caravan Park, said: “We bring considerable revenue into the area and in particular to local shops and restaurants. However we feel further industrial development could put us out of business and ruin Leeming Bar as a tourist destination.”