HEARINGS to help decide the fate of a controversial 300 home estate in Yarm have finished.

Five days of meetings were booked for the Theakston Homes planning appeal this week for a new estate off Green Lane.

But it’s understood only two days were required for the Planning Inspectorate appeal to be heard at Stockton Business Centre.

It will now be up to the Inspectorate to make the final decision before the end of this year.

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Detailed plans for 100 homes on the land near the A67 were given the thumbs up by seven votes to four at Stockton Council planning committee last month.

But earlier efforts to secure permission for 300 homes on the stretch were turned down by the committee in June over fears they’d create congestion and queuing on surrounding roads.

Planners also believed the off site works to widen Leven Road would also harm its character and have an “unacceptable impact”.

Road widening to create two exit lanes onto the A67 and a new “priority junction” on Thirsk Road were part of the plans to ease congestion created by the new estate.

However, worry over how Yarm’s network would cope cropped up repeatedly in the 300 objections from residents.

The developer appealed to the Planning Inspectorate to overturn the refusal.

An appeal statement on behalf of Theakstons labelled the suggestion that there would be a severe impact on the road network “untenable”.

It added that developers had sought to see whether shorter works on Leven Road would be acceptable to the council – adding the wider plans would only add 52 seconds to journeys along its length at morning rush hour.

The statement added: “The appeal proposals would not add any traffic along Leven Road.

“Instead, according to the modelling, by adding a small amount of traffic to the A67 it would take longer to exit from Leven Road onto the A67 and thus it would take longer to get from one end of Leven Road to the other.”

A total 240 market homes and 60 homes classed as “affordable” are part of the plans – with a mix of two, three, four and five bedroom properties lined up.

The council’s opening statement argued over the length of works along Leven Road to ease safety concerns and the widening of the junction.

It added: “What remains is similarly not acceptable.

“Whether that is for the increased delay along the Leven Road, or because of the clearly unacceptable highway safety effects.

“For either reason, the council requests that the appeal be dismissed.”

Yarm Conservative Cllr Dan Fagan and independent Cllr Andrew Sherris have both opposed the 300 home bid in the past.

Cllr Sherris said he’d gone along to the hearings on Wednesday with residents, only to be told they had finished when they’d turned up.

A decision is expected to be made by the Planning Inspectorate in the coming weeks.

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