PARISH councillors have condemned plans for 280 new homes in Middleton St George.

The plans by property developer Gladman for land off Neasham Road, Middleton St George, near Darlington, would also see a 60-bed care home being built, along with a community park with new footpaths and outdoor equipment and a children’s play area.

Letters have already been sent out to more than 500 nearby homes and businesses about the development which comes amid increasing fears that the village, on the outskirts of Darlington, is being “flooded” with new homes.

At a meeting of Middleton St George Parish Council members expressed fears about the location and the likely effect on traffic.

Councillor Stuart Crowther said: “It is going to increase congestion in the middle of the village and could not be in a worse place.

"The village infrastructure simply cannot cope."

Cllr Crowther said another housing development recently given approval to the rear of High Stell would be a “disaster” in terms of its impact on Middleton-St-George.

He said new estates should be encouraged nearer to Durham Tees Valley Airport because they did not directly affect existing communities in the area.

Local resident Richard Walton claimed the Gladman development would mean an extra 1,600 vehicles on local roads.

He said: “It is going to be utter chaos.”

The meeting also heard claims that commuters living in the village were causing problems by using the back road to neighbouring Neasham as a “rat run” to avoid the congested Morrisons/Morton Park roundabout on the A66 on mornings and evenings.

In a previous statement Gladman Developments said: “There are sometimes concerns associated with an increase in traffic as a result of a proposed development, but we will work to ensure that the development can be accommodated, taking into account any proposed improvements.”

It said the new homes would be a mixture of sizes, while the community park would be a “genuine asset” to the local community, providing opportunities for leisure and recreation.

The Gladman plans commented upon by the parish council will go to Darlington Borough Council for final consideration.