HUNDREDS of home owners have vowed to fight plans for an eco-development on the doorstep.

Around 300 people attended a public meeting at Woodham Village Community Centre at the weekend to discuss the plans for an urban village of 120 environmentally-friendly homes on the Cobblers Hall Estate.

The plans for the development, on Tony Blair's doorstep, are due to be considered by Sedgefield Borough Council but residents have urged they be thrown out at the first stage.

A committee of 12 residents - a representative from every street on the Cobblers Hall Estate - has been set up to fight the proposals, which residents have labelled a 21st century pit village.

If the homes were approved it would be the first environmentally-friendly estate of its kind in the country.

Every home would have internet and intranet connections, so residents could work from home and carry out day-to-day business, such as making doctors appointments and shopping.

People would also be able to hire cars from a transport pool and the homes would be built with solar panels for heat and energy.

But one man, who lives on the Cobblers Hall Estate, said: "I have looked at the plans and it looks like a 21st century pit village.

"It may work in certain parts of County Durham but the density and type of development is totally out of keeping with the design and brief of the rest of the area. That is why people are so upset."

Another resident said that the land had been previously earmarked for self-build plots and said he felt that should remain.

Sedgefield Borough councillor Alan Gray, who chaired the public meeting, admitted that the council had not realised that the new estate would provoke such anger.

He said: "The number of people who have turned out has been overwhelming. I have never been to a meeting where there are this many people.

"There is quite clearly a strong view against this proposal and I think the message has to be put forward to the council and that it will have to listen and act accordingly to the requests of the people at the meeting."