RESIDENTS are protesting angrily against proposals for more homes in the centre of their village.

More than 50 letters of objection and a petition will be sent to Darlington Borough Council in an attempt to halt plans to built five new houses in Middleton St George.

Developer Clarion Homes has submitted an application to redevelop the Station Garage site with three-storey terrace houses and garages.

But the chairwoman of the village's community partnership, Margaret Clemence, is spearheading a campaign against the plans, which she described as intrusive.

She is collecting objections from residents of Dinsdale Close and people in sheltered housing at Dinsdale Court.

"There are already problems in getting emergency services to Dinsdale Court because of the number of cars. I dread to think what it'll be like with five added houses," she said.

"There is not the infrastructure to support them and the overspill of parked cars will cause people real problems. We know they will put something on the site, but why can't they look at a smaller development."

Garage owner Simon Alsop originally approached Clarion Homes because his business is running at a loss. He is keen to see the planning application granted.

"I've been here 21 years and will be sorry to leave but I'm not making any money," he said.

"I've seen the designs and I think they are in keeping with the village."

Doris Jones, parish council chairwoman said a public meeting had been held for people to voice their concerns.

She said: "There is huge objection from residents because the designs are so out of keeping with the character of the village.

"We do feel sympathy for the garage owner's situation, but we are looking for a compromise."

She added that the village was already exhausted by the number of developments over recent years.

She said: "We are getting house on top of house but there is no infrastructure to support them. We don't have any land left for children to play on."

Gill Grover, sales manager at Clarion Homes, said: "We consider Middleton St George to be an up-and-coming area in the North-East and think the development will be an improvement to the village."