1575 houses proposed for green wedge
Another “Screening opinion request” has now been lodged with Stockton Borough Council for the building of new houses on Ingleby Barwick.
This one is for 675 houses
Along with the 550 houses that were identified a few weeks ago and the initial 350 already approved by the Secretary of State, this will make 1575 new houses proposed, all to facilitate the building of a Free School which was proposed to serve the children of families who already live here.
I firmly believe the Government should have built the extension to All Saints School that it was designed to accommodate. (When the school on Blair Avenue was built, it was constructed in such a way that it would be easily extended as the estate grew. If this Tory lead Government was not so intransigent about the building of state schools we could have had it built and open by now).
Residents will be extremely alarmed at these proposals.
It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out that if these 1575 houses go ahead they will be filled with a lot of families with children who will need school places, and where better for them to go to than a handy new school on their doorstep? This will do nothing to alleviate the problem of nearly a thousand Ingleby Barwick pupils being bussed off the estate every morning. The proposed Free School will very quickly fill up with pupils who don’t yet live here.
And in fact there is every likelihood that such a large number of houses being built will require the building of a primary school too.
It’s absolute madness.
And we should not forget that the council turned the developers' plans down precisely because they feared a deluge of housing applications. They didn't turn the plans down on ideological reasons on the grounds that the proposals were for a free school, even though they too would have preferred to extent the existing state school, they understood the need for more local school places and were ready to allow this as the only game in town.
It is also a matter of fact that the traffic in and off the estate is already terrible at peak times and if these 1575 houses go ahead then no amount of tinkering with Highways will help with the gridlock we all know will ensue.
The greatest fears of all Ingleby Barwick residents (of which I am one) have now been realised.
The floodgates have been opened by Tory Secretary of State Eric Pickles who personally gave the green light to the school and the initial houses after receiving direct representation from our Tory MP, James Wharton. He called it “brilliant news” in September when the Government agreed to pass the application.
And he told the local press in August that “I have made clear to Eric Pickles that I think this needs to go ahead.”
Ironically back in 2009 before he was elected he said that there should be no more building in Ingleby Barwick
My growing mailbag makes it clear to me that he is completely out of touch with local opinion and has got this very badly wrong.