Anger as rejected plans for 400 homes near Normanby park overturned

Development Image copyright Redcar and Cleveland Council
Image caption Artist's impression of the homes near woodland and a country park

Campaigners claim their protests have been ignored after a £45m housing scheme on Teesside was approved.

The plan to build 400 homes next to Flatts Lane Country Park, Normanby, was initially rejected by Redcar and Cleveland Council.

But that decision has now been overturned by a planning inspector, despite opposition.

Theakston Land, which owns the site, said it was delighted and that a large part of the land would remain green.

The council said it rejected the scheme for "sound planning" reasons and is disappointed its decision has been overturned.

Environmental campaigner, Craig Hornby, said the building work, due to begin at the end of 2018, would destroy woodland and kill wildlife.

Image caption Work at the site, overlooked by Eston Hills, is expected to begin at the end of 2018

He said: "We ran a really strong campaign and got more than 800 letters against the plan and more than 1,000 signatures, but what we did counted for nothing.

"Our voices don't count and the process is completely undermined - the whole thing stinks."

Chris Harrison, spokesman for Theakston Land, said the scheme would create 125 jobs and make up for a shortage of new homes.

"The scheme as we see it can make really big contribution to meet Redcar and Cleveland's housing requirements," he said.

"Over the last 15 years the council's consistently failed to meet housing requirements year on year."

He said in one recent year only 61 homes were built in the area.

Image caption Protesters want to preserve woodland on the site

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