A FILM highlighting a campaign to prevent a multi-million pound development scheme will be screened in the House of Commons.

Teesside film-maker Craig Hornby made Coatham: A Common Concern to highlight a five-year fight to prevent the development of Coatham Common, in Redcar, east Cleveland.

The fight to protect the land was defeated in January when the Court of Appeal dismissed a legal challenge over the multi-million pound regeneration scheme.

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But the £55m project, which includes 359 houses, swimming pools, leisure facilities and a visitor centre, has been vigorously defended by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.

The bitter row between The Friends of Coatham Common and the council created mistrust between the two groups.

Campaign founder Chris McGlade said: “We want the film to bring about an independent investigation and put the spotlight on individuals who have brought our council into disrepute at the expense of the taxpayer.”

Mr Hornby said: “The council claims it is a ‘listening council’, but it has not listened to the mass of objection for five years. We now have a select audience in Parliament very keen to listen.

“Taxpayers of Redcar and Cleveland have paid out around £1m and not a single brick has been laid. New leisure facilities are no closer today than seven years ago when this scheme was launched.”

The film has attracted support from MP Robert Goodwill, who represents neighbouring Scarborough and Whitby, after a Redcar businesswoman and a constituent of his contacted him about her concerns. He organised the showing of an edited version of the film in the House of Commons on Tuesday, and has invited Redcar MP Vera Baird and Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Dr Ashok Kumar to the screening.

Redcar and Cleveland borough councillor Mark Hannon believes the authority has acted correctly.

He said: “We believe the Coatham Links project is a fantastic regeneration opportunity for Redcar and the borough and are equally sure that the majority of our residents feel the same way.

“We have absolutely no problems with any members of the public taking part in an exchange of views about any of our regeneration schemes.

“We have not been made aware of the nature of the allegations against council officers within the film. However, as a public body we are committed to openness and transparency.

“If there has been wrongdoing, as in all matters, we will listen and we will act appropriately in accordance to our statutory duties and code of conduct.”

The film will be shown at 7.30pm on May 6, 7 and 8 at Coatham Church, Coatham Road, Redcar. Entry is free, but donations are welcome.