Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has expressed his hope that Thorpe Thewles will remain free of an unwanted housing development following an application for 25 units to be built there.
This follows Alex’s calls for local decision making to be upheld after a developer appealed the decision of the Planning Committee to reject a proposal for 40 units. Alex campaigned alongside residents against the application, which saw a 155 signature petition and 38 letters of objection go to Stockton Council’s Planning Committee.
The original application was rejected on the grounds that the development would have an adverse effect on Thorpe Thewles and a harmful impact on the existing infrastructure around the village. In his own letter of objection, Alex expressed his concerns that the proposed development would lead to further applications and create pressure on a village which already suffered from infrequent bus services, limited access to GPs and no local school provision.
Once again I’m disappointed to see an application for more housing at Thorpe Thewles. That the number of units has been reduced does not matter – and suggest to me that the developer hopes the Planning Committee will see this as some kind of compromise. But the fact remains that whether it’s 25 or 55 units, the village is quite clearly unsuitable for such a development, and I hope the Planning Committee make the right decision to protect Thorpe Thewles’ local character.
The draft local plan being drawn up by Stockton Council makes it clear that there are more than enough sites for development elsewhere. Thorpe Thewles is not the right place for this development.