Stockton Council has responded to the decision by the Secretary of State to refuse outline planning permission for residential development (up to 550 homes), local centre (2500m²) with means of access at Little Maltby Farm, Low Lane, Ingleby Barwick, TS17 0QR.
Councillor Mike Smith, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, said: “We are delighted that the Council’s rejection of this unnecessary development has been upheld by the Secretary of State but the events that have led us to this point raise serious questions about the decision making process in relation to planning matters.
“We have seen our Planning Committee’s decision to reject this application contradicted by a Government planning inspector, who recommended the appeal be allowed, only for the Secretary of State to disagree with him and uphold our original decision.
“This comes only 16 months after the same Secretary of State overturned our decision to reject plans for a free school and 350 homes on neighbouring land. And only yesterday, a Government planning inspector overturned our decision to reject plans to build 14 homes near Busby Way.
“It is little wonder that people often have difficulty understanding the planning system. We have always maintained that planning decisions are best made locally and this is a perfect example of why it is a good idea. The Planning Committee member who gave evidence at the appeal hearing is to be applauded.”