New housing proposals for Hart will change the face of the village forever, locals fear.
Fifty new homes are proposed to be accommodated on two sites in Hart in Hartlepool Borough Council’s new Local Plan.
That is on top of about 20 new homes that have recently been completed in a new development at the bottom of the village.
Residents Billy Mason and Malcolm Sandles spoke about their fears, including serious worries that the village’s roads will be unable to cope with the additional traffic.
Mr Mason said: “I say to the council, it’s deadlock. It’s murder getting out of the village as it is.
“The road isn’t good enough for it. At one time there was a village envelope and suddenly you can build anywhere.
“But it’s greenfield sites. It’s just not going to be like a village any more.”
The council’s Local Plan development blueprint for the town shows plans for 30 homes on one site off Palace Row and 20 houses on another site on the other side of the road.
Mr Sandles added: “The traffic now has got to a point where it is bad at times as it was before the bypass was built.
“If anything goes slow on the bypass they race through here. The houses the council is on about needing aren’t needed here.”
He added he is also concerned about the effect new houses will have on wildlife and drainage in the village.
A council spokesman said: “In preparing a new Local Plan for the borough, we have consulted widely with residents and other stakeholders.
“Indeed, a series of drop-in meetings were held across the borough over several weeks at the end of last year and early this year to give people the opportunity to ask questions and raise any issues or concerns with planning officials.
“One of the meetings took place in Hart Village Hall. Comments made at these meetings have been taken into account in the development of the Local Plan.
“These meetings followed an earlier period of consultation last summer.
“We would also point out that before the new Local Plan comes into force there will need to be a formal public inquiry which will provide another opportunity for people to comment.”
He added that people can make their views known on individual planning applications as they are lodged, including concerns about traffic.