TRAFFIC problems in Yarm mean the 'Yarm Crawl' is becoming as notorious as the 'Marton Crawl', a councillor warned, as a further 130 homes were approved on the outskirts of Eaglescliffe.

The controversial application, which will see Hunters Rest riding stables close and the new houses built on surrounding farmland off Urlay Nook Road, was approved on Wednesday by Stockton Borough Council's planning committee.

But Councillor Tony Hampton, who represents Yarm, said: "The feedback from the people of Yarm is outstandingly clear.

"They do see it as very congested at the moment. We are here to represent the local people.

"Everyone knows about the Marton Crawl, but we are going to end up having the Yarm Crawl."

The application was heard by the committee in the autumn but councillors voted unanimously to defer it after raising concerns about the impact of the extra traffic on the A66 Elton interchange and potential flooding issues.

However, the developer had lodged an appeal on grounds of non-determination and the planning committee had to indicate on Wednesday

Eaglescliffe and Egglescliffe Parish Council also opposed the application, citing both traffic and flooding concerns, and more than 70 objections were received from local residents.

Locals were concerned about gridlocked traffic and major congestion through Eaglescliffe and Yarm, as well as the impact on health centres, schools and other services.

Objectors were also worried about the impact of storm drainage increasing the risk of flooding of houses downstream.

At this week's meeting, Cllr Lynn Hall raised concerns about the impact of fumes from stationary cars on local areas, and the increase in traffic in the whole area, including up to the A66 interchange. She said she felt more information on traffic was needed.

"I don't think, because of the ifs and maybes in this application, that I could go along with it," she said.

Cllr Elsi Hampton said she was concerned that the report had said the Highways Agency believed the transport assessment to be too restricted.

The site is outside Stockton council's planned limits of development, but this does not exclude it from being approved as other factors are considered.

Councillors voted nine-three in favour of the application.