Residents in Dalton Piercy are furious after councillors overruled their own officers’ advice – and wide scale community opposition – to pass a development for 31 new bungalows in the village.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s Planning Committee was recommended by officers to reject the Wynyard Homes scheme on land off Dalton Heights.
Officers felt the development is not sustainable due to a lack of local services.
They also said the greenfield six-acre site lies outside of the development limit for the village as included in the council’s 2006 and 2016 Local Plans.
The plans attracted 65 objection letters from residents including a 79-signature petition from 49 homes in the village.
Objections include safety fears due to the narrow width of the access into the site and there being only a footpath on one site of the road.
Resident Alan Timothy also highlighted the number of serious road accidents at the nearby A19 junction, the steepness of the road and limited visibility and a limited bus service.
But the committee voted by a majority in favour of the scheme.
Councillor Ray Martin-Wells said: “I think we have got a situation where we are trying to encourage developers to build bungalows, and it’s because of that I’m minded to go against the recommendation.
“I do believe it will make the village more sustainable not less.”
Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said he was disappointed officers had not taken into account recent Tees Valley Rural Communities Council funding to boost transport links in villages.
He added plans for an Elwick bypass should see the closure of the A19 junctions at Dalton Piercy and Elwick.
Barry Miller, of Wynyard Homes, said: “How can a community become sustainable if it’s not allowed to grow and develop? As officers acknowledge the development will help support existing facilities and I would argue support the enhancement of facilities in the future such as transport links.”
Mr Timothy described the committee’s decision as “perverse”. He added: “This will be going to the Ombudsman never mind appeal.”
Another resident Lynn Noble said: “This entirely goes against the 2006 Local Plan, and the emerging Local Plan not to build at Dalton.”
And Marion Lowe who lives in the village added: “I think it stinks. The access road is just a single track so it will be hell on earth.”