I was at a meeting of Stockton Borough Council’s Planning Committee today to argue once again that 550 houses which are destined for Little Maltby Farm, green wedge on the south of Ingleby Barwick, should not go ahead. Thankfully, although council officers recommended approval (using the Tory Government’s overly generous planning policy as a guide), councillors themselves voted unanimously to reject the application which had come back with a few tweaks after being rejected earlier this year. The first version of the application has already gone to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol to look at and then Eric Pickles has written to objectors to say he will personally determine it. What is the betting that despite never having been to Ingleby Barwick (to the best of my knowledge anyway) he will pass this anyway like he did with the 350 houses that our Tory MP urged him to support previously?
I have also objected to an application to build 70+ houses on the school fields at Ingleby Manor Trust Free School on Low Lane.
Hang on, I hear you say, the school hasn’t been built yet.
Indeed it hasn’t and in point of fact it doesn’t even move into its temporary accommodation on the industrial estate until September but in a spectacular own goal, the Tory Government agency that manages the development of Free Schools, the Education Funding Agency have already sold off part of the school fields for housing. I understand from correspondence I have seen, the directors of Ingleby Manor Trust are not best pleased.
I have not got a date for this committee hearing yet but I will definitely be there to fight for residents on that one, I positively look forward to it!