YET another highly controversial application to build houses near a new school at Ingleby Barwick - the fifth so far not counting appeals and High Court cases - has been submitted to Stockton Borough Council.

There has already been more than 230 objections to the proposal to built 200 homes near what will be Ingleby Manor School in the Low Lane area of the town.

Many people have criticised developers for using the school as a 'Trojan Horse' to enable more housing to be built in the area.

The original plan was to build a school, long campaigned for by Ingleby Barwick parents, with 350 homes. That was denied by the council's planning committee, but granted on appeal to the Government.

Following that decision two other applications quickly followed, both to build 550 homes. Both were refused. One of the developers, having also lost on appeal following a public inquiry, challenged the decision at the High Court and won. The matter is now with the Secretary of State in London. The developer has also lodged another revised application.

The other developer who wanted to build 550 homes also won the right to a public inquiry but later withdrew. It is that developer who has lodged the application to build 200 homes.

Yet another application to build 70 properties was also denied but the council lost the case on appeal.

Stockton's planning committee has consistently refused permission to build in the area on the grounds that the area is protected as 'green wedge.' Objectors have also argued that there is a lack of infrastructure and would lead to a merging of Ingleby Barwick with other communities. It has also been argued the new homes would impact on wildlife and hedgerows and increase the risk of flooding.

However Natural England and the Environment Agency had no objections.

The council's own planning officers recommend refusal. A planning officer's report to committee members said: "It is acknowledged that the proposed development would have some strong social and economic benefits as a result of its contribution to economic growth and through significantly boosting the supply of housing. (But) it is not considered that these benefits outweigh the significant environmental and visual harm to the surrounding area."

The latest application will be discussed by the authority on at Stockton Central Library on Wednesday, November 4 at 1.30pm.