RUMOURS could have a negative knock-on effect on a survey to help decide plans for the future of Brotton, it has been claimed.

Residents are to be asked to list their priorities as part of a consultants' study to provide a blueprint for an improved environment and living conditions.

The plan covers the 385 homes in the Park and Brickyard areas, where there is a small number of empty properties, and the shops in Skelton Road and the High Street.

But Coun Brian Hogg, lead member for the environment and infrastructure with Redcar and Cleveland, said: "There have been people spreading negative rumours about the consultation, sayings its all about demolition and nothing else. But that's not the case.

"We have to wait for the recommendations of the final report before talking about the level of any demolition.

"It's about bringing empty properties back into use and finding out what the residents feel is required to enrich the area they live in,'' he insisted. "The survey is about regeneration and providing modern homes. It is also about finding a positive way forward.

"These rumours could be damaging if the consultants are not able to get proper results. People who are worried about their homes are not going to talk.''

He said: "The whole idea is about enhancing the environment of the Brickyard, the Park and the High Street.

"We have some void properties on the Brickyard, but this is about fetching them back into use. It's not people's homes we are talking about, but void property.''

He said there was no play area in the neighbourhood and that street lighting was 'not 100 per cent'.

Shrub boxes could be removed to provide extra parking spaces.

The research will include house condition surveys. Once it is complete, the final report will help the council develop a strategy for the area.

Coun Hogg said: "My message to people is take part in the survey, say what you would like to see."