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Success for campaign against housing development at Flatts Lane Country Park as planners recommend refusal

Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has today (Wednesday 24th August 2016) welcomed the Redcar & Cleveland planning officers’ recommendation to refuse permission for an application to build 400 homes on land next to Flatts Lane Country Park.

Anna launched a campaign against this development, working with local councillors and the community to formally oppose the development and collecting over 2000 signatures.

The planners’ report notes that development at the site is not required to meet housing demand and that the longstanding boundary to development marked by the A174 would be breached, potentially encouraging further development down the hillside:

“There are alternative sites, both within and outside development limits, which are in more sustainable and less environmentally-sensitive locations and are more strongly related to nearby residential areas.”

“The proposals would remove the defensible boundary established by the A174, which helps to effectively contain the built-up area and distinguish it from the Eston Hills and, in doing so, could serve to encourage further housing development south of the Parkway at Normanby.”

They also warn of the detrimental impact on a vital green space and wildlife habitat:
“The site has an open aspect and tranquil character and, through mature woodland areas it effectively functions as a visual, atmospheric and noise ‘buffer’ between the Country Park and the built-up area. With 20,000 visits recorded at the bridleway in 2012, the application site is a popular access route into the Country Park and is part of a network of accessible urban fringe countryside in the wider Eston Hills area. In the event of development, site character would be lost, and its value as an environmental and community asset would be reduced.”

The final decision will be made by the planning committee. The application is scheduled to be heard at the next meeting of the Regulatory Committee on 1 September 2016, which commences at 10.00am at the Redcar & Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart, Ridley Street, Redcar TS10 1TD.

Anna said:

“This is excellent news and well done to everyone who joined the campaign in opposing this development. The arguments everyone made against this development have been vindicated in the planners’ report.

“I am pleased the council’s planning team listened to local concerns and have acted to conserve a vital green space and wildlife habitat.

“Their report is a clear and comprehensive statement that housing development on this land on Eston Hills is unnecessary and unsustainable and would damage an environment which is much valued by the whole community.

“The application now has to go before the planning committee who I hope will take the time to read the comprehensive analysis of this report, backed up by the strength of local opinion.”

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