A COMEDIAN has expressed no remorse at being escorted by police out of a meeting over a proposed £55m development.

Chris McGlade believes passionately that the Coatham Enclosure, an area overlooking the seafront at Redcar where developer Persimmon hopes to build homes and leisure facilities, should be developed solely for leisure use.

He has collected thousands of signatures in a petition against the proposed development and held two public meetings, both attended by about 200 people.

Last night Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council held a scrutiny meeting into the development, part of an in-depth investigation being conducted due to public concern.

But before Mr McGlade, who had been given the status of a premier witness with a 15-minute slot, presented his comments to the meeting in the main hall of Redcar Community College, he was escorted away by police for causing disruption, following almost three hours of warnings about his behaviour.

Up to 100 of his supporters followed him.

Councillor Keith Pudney, chairman of the scrutiny commission set up to investigate the background to the project, said: "I am very sad and dismayed that this man's appalling, loud-mouthed behaviour has single-handedly wrecked what we were trying to do.

"Mr McGlade chose to stand and bawl, disrupting the main presentation countless times and regularly interrupting our expert witnesses as they attempted to answer questions.

"We intend to make another attempt to hear, consider and respect what people have to say, but we will not listen to a ranter who is intent on telling lies."

But Mr McGlade said he would do it all again "to expose the council's lies".

"The council did not give the people the answers they wanted at the meeting," he said.

"It's not me lying to the people of Redcar, it's them.

"The truth is we are not yet guaranteed any leisure facilities at all. We also had a barrister at the meeting who says there is a covenant preventing the council building on the land."

The council has said a £22m grant to pay for the development's leisure facilities, which included a six-lane, 25-metre pool, is close to being secured.

It has sought legal advice and been told the development can go ahead on the land.