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TURNED DOWN: Yarm estate which sparked hundreds of objections refused

TURNED DOWN: Yarm estate which sparked hundreds of objections refused

David Anderson aimed to build 50 homes on former Yarm Riding School land, Image: Google Earth

A push for a 50-home estate which sparked hundreds of objections has been refused. 

The pared-back plans off Mount Leven Road, Yarm, have been turned down by Stockton Council planning officers this week.

They ruled the proposal for a mix of bungalows and two-storey homes wouldn’t be acceptable due to their impact on neighbours and green space near the banks of the River Leven.

A “lack of information” about a new drainage pond affecting the river’s ecology also counted against the project.

Worries over more cars clogging up the town’s busy roads were sounded by residents last year when initial plans for 60 homes emerged on land at the former riding centre.

Numbers of homes lined up were trimmed back to 50 this summer – but objections continued to trickle in from concerned Yarm folk.

Travel analysis by the developer found the new estate could bring around 40 two-way journeys at peak times which it deemed “negligible”.

A new junction east of Stevenson Close had been envisaged for the estate by demolishing number 68 Mount Leven Road.

But Yarm Town Council and Stockton South MP Matt Vickers were among those worried about the new homes hitting the town’s wider infrastructure.

In his objection, Mr Vickers added: “Our residents know their local area better than anyone –  they know what is reasonable and what is not.

“The roads in and around Yarm are heavily congested at most times of the day and log jammed at peak times causing unnecessary pollution.

“I have read every comment submitted by residents (and others) on this application, and the constant messages are strong and clear.

“The area has too much traffic, the development will seriously impact on the social health and well being of local residents, the safety of children, and the elderly using the roads has already been identified as a matter of concern – with Stockton Council introducing a speed restriction of 20 mph.”

It’s not the first time a development on the stretch has been turned down.

Applicant David Anderson saw a separate bid for five detached homes rejected by the Planning Inspectorate in 2019 – with the body finding they would harm the character and appearance of the “green wedge” in the Leven Valley.

Cllr Andrew Sherris, independent member for Yarm, said the plans had created a “stressful and anxious time” for neighbours – and welcomed the refusal.

“Like any application decision, it may well end up at appeal,” he added.

“If so, let’s once again hope that the inspector sides with local residents.

“Particular thanks (goes) to those residents who, with absolute dogged determination, have chipped away at this over the last year.”

A decision report revealed more behind why the plans were refused.

Officials judged the entrance to the new estate would have an “unacceptable” impact on some neighbours.

They added the proposed drainage pond and its works would harm the character of the “green wedge” marked out near the River Leven.

The report stated: “In the opinion of the local planning authority, the applicant has failed to demonstrate that, by virtue of its siting, the SUDs (drainage) pond would not have an adverse impact on the ecology of the river corridor.”

Mr Anderson will have four weeks to appeal the decision.

 

Words: Alex Metcalfe, Local Democracy Reporter


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