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Objections Raised to Homes Being Built on Thornaby Nature Reserve

A total of 161 objection letters have been sent in response to a plan to build 45 new residential properties on a nature reserve in Teesside.

In contrast, Stockton Council received only one letter that avidly supported the scheme involving a plot of land located south of Thornaby, near Bassleton Beck Valley.

The land in question, which has always been designated as green wedge, lies within the boundaries of the Tees Heritage Park, although over the years there have been encroachments on the original surrounding fields and woodlands, primarily by development in nearby Ingleby Barwick.

Another planning application, this one for 54 homes to be constructed on the site, was rejected in 2013. Among the reasons cited were a poor highway layout and concern over potential negative impact on the green wedge.

Another application was recently submitted to address these and other regularly voiced concerns. Planning officers recommended its approval, but once again it was refused by the planning committee.

The main objections to the new proposal revolve primarily around the fact that the development is located in the green wedge and will close the gap that remains between Thornaby and Ingleby Barwick.

There also concerns that there is a well-established wildlife population using the site, traffic in the area is also extremely heavy, and that the development will have a negative impact on both the Tees Heritage Park and nearby properties.

In opposing the application, Thornaby Town Council stated that the proposal to develop woodland, green fields, and a wildlife habitat demonstrated little concern for the wellbeing of the community and the environment, and should be opposed and avoided at all cost.

 

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The town council also said that the current road infrastructure would not be able to handle the corresponding increase in road traffic and noise pollution levels, thereby causing more problems for local people. It added that the area schools are not in a position to cope with increased demands for child places.

There were also objections from the Friends of Tees Heritage Park (FTHP), who added that the site is on the ridgeline above the Bassleton valley and the proposed development will display an unappealing elevation of housing when viewed from the valley, especially in the winter.

FTHP also pointed out that the Tees Heritage Park has been identified as representative of the region’s landscape, heritage, and ecology. Activities such as walks and tours are already in progress to raise awareness of this natural wonder in the area, and development proposals must be resisted if the open space facilities are to remain in existence for people to enjoy.

Planning officers in Stockton, on the other hand, have recommended approval of the scheme, although certain conditions apply.

A report to the planning committee states that the scheme would not have an overly negative impact on the appearance or character of the area. The officers also did not believe that there would be problems for existing properties in the area.

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