PLANS have been submitted to build a large affordable housing development on a narrow stretch of recreational public land.
The 24 rental properties would be erected on a grassed area between Buxton Moor Crescent and Edgemoor Road, on the Moorfield estate, in the Firthmoor area of Darlington.
The development includes 14 two-bedroom and ten three-bedroom homes, which would split into rent to buy and affordable rental properties.
The housing, proposed to be built on land owned by Darlington Borough Council, would also feature off-street parking for each property.
The grassed area, separated by a public footpath, is currently used as an open space by residents living in Buxton Moor Crescent, Edgemoor Road and Emley Moor Road, and has football goalposts on the northern part of the site for youngsters to use.
The proposals have been put forward by North-East social landlord Vela, which said the development would be a key factor in reducing the acute lack of affordable housing in Darlington.
The company has also vowed to retain the majority of open space within the development.
A report said: "The overriding justification for the proposed development is the delivery of affordable housing within an area of Darlington where there is an acute need.
"While it cannot resolve all the affordable housing problems, it does represent a significant step forward in widening opportunities for home ownership and boosting the housing supply.
"It is a highly appropriate development and will not materially harm the open land, and is likely to improve the site.
"The northern part of the site includes football goal posts, but it does not perform any role for structured play facilities.
"As part of the development, the majority of the public open space will be retained, including a large area along Edgemoor Road."
The report also said the existing bus stop in Edgemoor Road would be maintained, with the public footpath across the site receiving a minor re-adjustment.
The plans are now available for residents to view at darlington.gov.uk
The deadline for responses is Friday, January 4.