PLANS for 12 new houses in Teesdale have been given the go-ahead despite claims there is no need for extra housing.

Durham County Council’s planning committee voted in favour of the development for the edge of Cotherstone.

Councillors were told the 12 homes would be affordable and rented through a social housing scheme.

Cotherstone parish councillor Ian Moorhouse said there is no need for affordable housing in the area.

He said: “We feel very strongly about this development, it has not been demonstrated that there is a need, and if there is, that it cannot be fulfilled in any other way.”

He added the area is not sustainable in terms of public transport and that there is not enough local employment.

County councillor David Boyes raised concerns about whether local people would have the opportunity to live in the houses.

The committee’s legal advisor Clare Cuskin said potential residents must prove they have a local connection to initially be eligible for the new builds.

Alastair Willis, agent for the applicant Partner Construction, said comprehensive surveys have shown 30 affordable houses are needed in the Cotherstone parish.

He also said the homes would be built in a way that “reflects the conservation area and meets a local housing need”.