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Draft Local Plan

The Draft Local Plan sets out the vision for the future development of Middlesbrough.

It includes the emerging planning policies, allocations, and designations which will be used to guide development in the town until 2041.

Once the Local Plan comes into force (is 'adopted'), it will replace the town's existing planning policies, and will be used to help decide planning applications.

We also have to look at sustainability as part of the Local Plan. This involves doing a sustainability appraisal of the Local Plan to make sure we consider the potential environmental, social, and economic effects of the Local Plan.


Middlesbrough Draft Local Plan

Middlesbrough Draft Local Plan sustainability appraisal

Middlesbrough Draft Local Plan proposals map

Middlesbrough Draft Local Plan town centre insert

You can find supporting evidence documents in our evidence library.

Not all of these documents are accessible. If you need the information in another format, please email planningpolicy@middlesbrough.gov.uk.


The consultation to find out what people thought of our Draft Local Plan ran from 9am on Thursday 1 February 2024 until 5pm on Friday 15 March 2024.

We are currently considering all the comments received as part of the consultation.

Frequently asked questions

What are the next steps in the process after the consultation?


Views from members of the public will be analysed and amendments to the Local Plan will be made where appropriate.

The council does not have the resources to respond in detail to every representation, but will produce a consultation report.

A further six-week consultation will then be launched on the revised document, a period known as the Publication stage.

The Local Plan will then be submitted to the Secretary of State and will be examined by an Independent Planning Inspector before it can be approved.

It is scheduled to be adopted in May 2025.

What is the Local Plan?


As the local planning authority for Middlesbrough, we are required by law to prepare a development plan covering a 15-year period.

The Local Plan will identify which land can be built on and put protections in place for other areas.

Once the Local Plan is in place it is used to guide decisions on planning permission. Other matters, known as 'material considerations' are also taken into account.

What issues will it cover?


The Local Plan sets out the number of houses required up to 2041, and the sites where development will take place.

Other policies in the Local Plan include:

  • economic growth (how planning can support businesses and job creation)
  • green and blue infrastructure (how green spaces and urban water features are protected and enhanced)
  • social and environmental infrastructure (social infrastructure includes health, education, cultural, faith, and sports facilities)
  • the historic environment (how land and buildings that are important to the town's heritage are protected)
  • design / placemaking (improving the quality of public spaces)

Why is the Local Plan being reviewed now?


Without an up-to-date Local Plan, we are less likely to be able to influence the type of development and where it happens.

The review ensures all our planning policies are up to date. It also brings them together into a single document.

The review also makes sure the Local Plan supports the council's wider ambitions for the town, as set out in the Council Plan.

What evidence has been prepared to support the Local Plan?


The council is required to demonstrate that the Local Plan is based on robust and up-to-date evidence. Several pieces of work have been prepared to support the Local Plan including:

  • Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy
  • Employment Land Review
  • Retail Study
  • Local Housing Need Assessment (LHNA)
  • Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTAA)
  • Housing Land Availability Assessment (HLAA)
  • Open Space Needs Assessment (OSNA).

These documents can be viewed in the evidence library.

We have also commissioned highways evidence to support the Local Plan to consider the impacts of new allocations.

What are the objectives for the Local Plan?


The Local Plan has identified the following strategic objectives:

Objective A

To deliver new high quality, well-designed and energy efficient development that meets the needs and aspirations of our current and future residents.

Objective B

To revitalise Middlesbrough town centre through diversifying our retail and leisure offer, and attracting new urban dwellers, supported by a strong network of district and local centres.

Objective C

To strengthen our local economy by supporting existing businesses and attracting new employers.

Objective D

To build high quality homes that help strengthen our communities.

Objective E

To protect and enhance our Green and Blue Infrastructure Network.

Objective F

To ensure that new development is properly served by, and sustainably connected to, new and improved physical, social and environmental infrastructure.

Objective G

To recognise and value our historical and culturally important assets.

Objective H

To achieve healthy and safe communities.

How does the Local Plan relate to the Middlesbrough Development Corporation?


The Middlesbrough Development Corporation (MDC) is the public body which deals with planning applications in its area, which includes most of the town centre and Middlehaven.

The MDC is chaired by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

Middlesbrough Council retains responsibility for producing a Local Plan which includes the land inside the MDC boundary.

The council has sought ongoing dialogue with the MDC when preparing this Draft Local Plan and will continue to do so throughout the preparation of the Plan.

What level of housing is proposed?


The Draft Local Plan identifies that 400 new homes are required each year.

This means that by 2041, 7,600 new homes would need to be built in Middlesbrough. This would support our ambition for 350 new jobs to be created annually.

This is the minimum level that the Local Plan needs to deliver, although additional sites have been included to provide an overallocation of 11%. The additional number allows for any delays and helps make sure we maintain a five-year land supply.

Why are greenfield sites being proposed for housing?


We need a mix of sites across Middlesbrough to meet the different needs of our population.

The Local Plan prioritises brownfield land, but some greenfield sites are also needed to meet housing demand.

Brownfield land is less economically viable to develop and often more complex to deliver. There also isn’t enough to provide the number of homes the town needs.

Greenfield land identified is either on land within current housing developments or land that is on the edge of areas where people live. Greenfield sites offer locations where a high-quality environment and larger houses can be provided in order to help retain Middlesbrough's economically active population, which has previously been lost to neighbouring authorities.

In the past, Middlesbrough achieved the highest levels of brownfield development in Tees Valley (80% between 2002 to 2012). A consequence of this was that we delivered the lowest number of houses.

Due to Middlesbrough's size, there is very little remaining brownfield land left that can be developed.

Why is the entire Stainsby site including Mandale Meadow allocated for development?


As it stands, the exact location of the new road - known as the Stainton Way Western Extension - isn't known.

The Stainsby Masterplan states that housing won't be built on the North of the site, and the Local Plan requires that any development aligns to this Masterplan.

The majority of the Stainsby allocation is on privately owned land and will be brought forward for development in line with the adopted Masterplan for the site. View the Masterplan.

Once the Stainsby Country Park has been provided it is proposed to designate this area as Local Green Space in a future Local Plan.

Why is land at Stainsby Road allocated for both education and housing?


While the site is expected to come forward for housing development, discussions have been ongoing between the council and the Department for Education about the use of the site for a school.

At this stage, given that discussions are ongoing, the site is allocated for both housing and school use.

How much affordable housing will be provided and where will it go?


Achieving a good supply and range of high-quality affordable homes across Middlesbrough will provide choice for those in housing need and help deliver balanced, sustainable communities.

The Local Plan requires housebuilders to provide a minimum of 15% affordable homes on developments of 10 or more in the south of the town.

The Local Plan generally requires these houses to be built on site (although there are circumstances where this may not be appropriate).

Why is the council allocating land for Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation?


Government policy dictates that the Local Plan must identify land to meet all housing needs, including those of the Gypsy and Travelling community.

This need must be met in a way that facilitates the traditional and nomadic way of life of travellers while also respecting the interests of settled communities.

Middlesbrough currently has one public site for Gypsy and Travellers at Metz Bridge and one private Travelling Showpeople yard at North Ormesby.

A formal assessment - The Middlesbrough Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) (2023) - identified a need for an additional three plots to meet the future needs for Travelling Showpeople.

This will be accommodated on land next to the existing site. The GTAA also found a need for 14 additional pitches to meet the needs of Gypsies or Travellers during the plan period up to 2041.

This need cannot be met on the existing site and therefore will need to be met on a new site, which is identified as land at Teessaurus Park.

Why has the site at Teessaurus Park been chosen? And what will happen dinosaur sculptures?


A call for sites was undertaken in late 2022 / early 2023, but no privately owned land has been put forward to the Council for the development for Gypsy & Traveller accommodation.

In the absence of private proposals coming forward, the council has a duty to bring forward a site on publicly owned land.

An assessment of council-owned sites has found that land at Teessaurus Park is the most appropriate, especially as it is located close to the existing site at Metz Bridge.

Any site built on the land in the future would need to go through a full planning and consultation process, like any other development.

Proposals would retain public access to a Local Wildlife Site at the north of the site and to the River Tees.

Public access to the dinosaur sculptures would also be retained - whether that is at the current park, or a suitable alternative park or green space in Middlesbrough.

When and how will the proposed Gypsy and Traveller site at Teessaurus Park be developed?


The identification of the site at Teessaurus Park in the Draft Local Plan will allow public consultation to take place. The council would then consider any other options put forward.

Should a more appropriate alternative site not be identified through this process, there are a number of options for bringing the site forward, including by the council itself, or by partnering with a Housing Association or another third party.

Further development appraisal work will need to be undertaken by the council once the site is confirmed through the Local Plan process. This will include how the development will be funded, including access to external public financing available through government grants.

It is anticipated that the site will be brought forward in stages, to meet housing need as it arises, rather than developing the full site potential at once. There is currently no definitive timescale for doing this.

How will existing infrastructure cope with the additional development?


New homes will only be built after an assessment of the area’s infrastructure.

Housing developers will normally be responsible for the costs of any required changes. This could include road improvements or extra school capacity, for example.

The Local Plan identifies new shopping and community facilities at Stainsby, Hemlington Grange West, Land North of Low Lane and Newham Hall Farm.

Land for new schools is identified at Stainsby, Newham Hall, Holme Farm, and Stainsby Road.

On other sites, developers will be expected to pay for the cost of expanding existing schools.

A new road is identified in the Local Plan, which is the Stainton Way Western Extension, from Low Lane to Mandale Road.

Required road improvements would be funded by developers.

Why is the Stainton Way Western Extension required and what is the purpose?


The new road - known as the Stainton Way Western Extension - will serve three key priorities: 

  1. to provide access to the Stainsby site;
  2. to satisfy the forecast increase in car usage; and,
  3. to provide strategic mitigation to bring forward the council's wider housing development programme.

The new road would provide the capacity for expected traffic growth.

The growth is predicted due to new housing developments in wider south Middlesbrough and increased car ownership.

Will any new open spaces be provided as part of the proposed developments?


The Local Plan aims to ensure Middlesbrough has an integrated network of green and blue infrastructure.

New open spaces will be provided as part of new housing developments, including a Country Park at Stainsby.

Will the council make money from sites it owns in the plan?


The council will receive money from the sale of land it owns, as well as increased levels of Council Tax from residents living in new housing.

Sites identified in the Draft Local Plan have been chosen due to their availability and suitability to meet the town's future housing needs, regardless of ownership.

How can I obtain further information on the Local Plan review?


A full public consultation will run from 1 February 1 2024 to March 15 15 2024.

You can access the consultation document online on this page. Hard copies are available at Middlesbrough House and in libraries and community hubs.

Officers can also be contacted by email planningpolicy@middlesbrough.gov.uk or by phone on 01642 729487.

Scoping report

We ran a consultation on the Local Plan Scoping Report from 5 December 2022 to 31 January 2023.

You can view the scoping report, supporting sustainability appraisal, and consultation report.


For more information, contact the Planning Policy Team by calling 01642 729062, 01642 729487, or emailing planningpolicy@middlesbrough.gov.uk.