CONCERNED residents have confronted developers over proposals to build 19 flats in Egglescliffe.

At a parish council meeting last week, more than 30 residents attended a presentation by the Davis Partnership on plans to demolish The Grange, in Urlay Nook Road, and replace it with two- and three-bedroom flats.

The presentation was held to gauge people's views before any decision was made to submit a planning application to Stockton Borough Council.

Architect John Sheldrake said: "We have consulted the borough council and had strict guidelines to follow with regards to the location, design and access. We've tried to maintain the scale of the existing house.

"The access is off Valley Gardens because the engineers wouldn't allow any access from the main road."

A three-storey block and a two-storey block were proposed with 28 parking spaces.

The sustainability of the site would be demonstrated by a report on local amenities including shops and schools. A cycle store was also proposed.

Mr Sheldrake said that flats would provide a general mix of accommodation for a range of residents including the disabled and young professional families.

Fears were raised by residents about the development's impact on neighbouring bungalows in Valley Gardens.

One resident said: "Apart from the personal and individual resistance to a development like this, it's so close to a lovely street.

"While the proposed buildings' height is not much taller than the existing building, there is a whole new line of property which will be overlooking my property and several bungalows. There is perfectly good housing there already.

"The increase of traffic on the A67 is also a significant factor. It's bad enough as it is."

Mr Sheldrake said that the site would be developed by his client one way or another. He said to sell the house as it stood was not an option.

"We are looking to develop the site with new buildings and we had a brief from our client to develop the site to its maximum capacity," he said.

Borough councillor Maureen Rigg, who sits on Stockton Council planning committee, said: "This is not my final comment but I would suggest to your client that he plans for a significantly smaller density and takes out the three-storey block.

"We've had one or two incidents recently where developers have tried to build high density developments next to bungalows and they have been turned down by the committee and inspectors."

Chairman Sue Ireland said that the area was under siege from planning applications and advised residents to write to Stockton Council with their comments if a planning application was submitted.

* See letters: page 21