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SPOKEN OUT: Hemlington Lane bungalows development

SPOKEN OUT: Hemlington Lane bungalows development

Access will be provided at the end of the street to a new 18 bungalow development, Image: LDRS

A local resident has spoken out ahead of a council vote on Friday about the controversial development of 18 bungalows on a designated green space in Hemlington.

David Breckon, 72, who lives on Hemlington Lane, is concerned about the ‘dangerous’ road junction from his street onto Ladgate Lane that he believes could be worsened by the proposals.

Middlesbrough-based property developer Ken Shannon wants to build 18 three and four-bedroom dormer bungalows on the land to the east of Hemlington Lane.

The plans show that Hemlington Lane will be used to access the new housing estate.


The proposed layout of bungalows behind Hemlington Lane, Image: Pod Newcastle

Retired resident Mr Breckon said: “If they do go ahead and build we would suggest that access should be from the roundabout up there [Sandy Flatts and Ladgate Lane roundabout] but the council is saying they can’t do that, but engineers find solutions so they should be able to do that.

“If there is a cost involved in redesigning that roundabout then that should be passed on to the developer, rather than them using the Lane.

“Access is very bad at the moment getting out, it’s dangerous. With 30 to 40 extra cars, at rush hour getting out, it’ll be quite dangerous.”

Kader ward councillor Ron Arundale has also spoken out against the use of Hemlington Lane and believes, like Mr Breckon, that access should be from the roundabout that currently serves Sandy Flatts Lane.

Craig Van Bedaf, a director at Pod, the Newcastle-based architecture firm which has designed the bungalows, has said that a sizeable sum will be spent by the developers on highways improvements, which includes a pedestrian crossing on Ladgate Lane.

He added: “We have got full approval from highways. It achieves all highways standards, the traffic movement for 18 bungalows is extremely small on Hemlington Lane.

“We are putting forward £100,000 of highways improvements in order to make Ladgate Lane and Hemlington Lane much much safer than it currently is. So again, it’s a real positive for the area.”

The suggested modifications include a right turning lane for entering and exiting Hemlington Lane, the creation of a footpath on Hemlington Lane, and new signs and a pelican crossing on Ladgate Lane.

The site is designated as a green wedge in the Local Plan and the council’s planners have admitted that this does mean that it contravenes with the planning policy which aims to ensure the protection, conservation and enhancement of the landscape.

However, planners have added that this does not outweigh the social, economic, and environmental sustainable benefits of the development, therefore they advise that councillors should vote in favour of the project.

The proposals will see approximately 1 hectare of trees in the area cut down.

Mr Breckon is concerned about the environmental impact of the building work, he said: “The big objection is that they are going to cut the trees down when the environment agency and the council are encouraging people to plant trees.

“They have been there for thirty to forty years so it will take thirty to forty years for the new ones to catch up.”

Before adding: “It’s a green pocket within the town and there are less and less of those. It’s a useful space for all greenery and wildlife.”

Mr Shannon has agreed to pay £2,500 for 2,500 replacement trees.

Mr Breckon also claims that he has filmed bats on the site and said that he has spotted deers at the bottom of his garden, which borders the area of the proposed plans.

However, a report compiled by Middlesbrough Council’s planning department said that, while some trees had the potential for bats to roost, there was a low risk of the animals being present.

There were also concerns raised by a councillor that there was a badger sett, however, a visit by Tees Valley Wildlife on October 4 found that the setts were old and there were no signs of activity.

If planning permission is secured, the developer will be required to carry out a further survey before work commences to ensure there is no badger activity.

Middlesbrough Council’s Planning and Development Committee will be voting on the plans on Friday, October 15 and Mr Van Bedaf is keen to take the designs to them.

He believes there is a need for more bungalows in the area as many new developments don’t build them or only include very few.

He added: “The landowner Mr Shannon, lives on Acklam Road, he has built huge swatches of Middlesbrough in the past, him and his father. He obviously has a real affinity with the area.

“He wanted to see something which is right for the area i.e. smaller scale aimed at an older demographic, promoting community, really really high end and bespoke.

“We have considered every aspect, we’ve gone through ecology, highways, access, noise and we have put forward a massive affordable housing contribution. From an architectural point of view, I am really proud of and I look forward to taking it to the committee.”

There will be no affordable housing as part of the plans, therefore, there will be a £425,000 contribution made to the council by the developers.

The first planning documents were submitted on June 13 2019 and the development has decreased from 22 homes to 18 since then.


Words: Emily Craigie, Local Demcoracy Reporter

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