Campaigners urge people to have their say in final days of Darlington housing development consultations

Darlington and Stockton Times: Residents encouraged to join in consultation period held by Darlington Borough Council Residents encouraged to join in consultation period held by Darlington Borough Council

DETERMINED residents are stepping up their efforts to oppose a controversial housing plan as the end of a consultation period draws near.

Proposals from Darlington Borough Council to build more than 6,000 houses in the town by 2026 have attracted scores of objections.

Community groups, neighbourhoods and individuals have reacted with concern to the council’s Making and Growing Places plan, which would see green spaces throughout the town used for housing.

Hundreds of people have attended recent consultation events to have their say on the proposals with many lobbying the council and the town’s MP Jenny Chapman in a bid to halt development on sites including Bellburn Lane Field and the Cocker Beck conservation area.

Jan Needham, from the Friends of Cocker Beck group, is encouraging residents to get involved in the consultation process, which is being held to garner views on a revised draft policy drawn up following an initial consultation held last year.

Ms Needham said: “There are a number of concerning things, from the loss of public amenities and recreational spaces to the effect on wildlife and the risk of flooding.

“It’s important to take an interest in this and be active and it doesn’t hurt to act together. The council are asking people what they think and it’s important to tell them while there’s a chance.”

Recently, hundreds of protestors descended upon Bellburn Lane field to actively oppose plans to build 50 homes there.

Several activists from the Save Bellburn Lane Field Facebook group have lobbied Darlington MP Jenny Chapman.

Mrs Chapman said: “Undoubtedly the plans are controversial. The town needs more homes but the plans need to be considered very carefully with respect for existing developments.

“What I think matters most is that residents get to take part in a process that is respectful of their views.

“I am working to make sure the decision makers are aware of the strength of feeling in the community and the reasons behind that.”

Further consultation events will be held at Darlington Outdoor Market on Saturday, July 28 from 10am until 2pm and at Gurney Pease Academy on Monday, June 30 from 5pm until 7pm.

A spokeswoman from Darlington Borough Council said: “We would encourage anyone who has questions or suggestions to come along to our consultation drop-in events and let us know what they think.”

Comments (10)

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4:56pm Thu 26 Jun 14

youngcrony says...

I'm very keen to know who wants these homes? Where is the demand coming from?

I bet this is related to the program "Police under Pressure", show on BBC1 this week on 23/06/2014 at 9pm. Some police forces in Britain are under so much pressure from multi-cultural communities, they are trying to spread these communities throughout the UK so they are not concentrated in a few locations, therefore relieving pressure from some areas of the country and increasing it in others.
I'm very keen to know who wants these homes? Where is the demand coming from? I bet this is related to the program "Police under Pressure", show on BBC1 this week on 23/06/2014 at 9pm. Some police forces in Britain are under so much pressure from multi-cultural communities, they are trying to spread these communities throughout the UK so they are not concentrated in a few locations, therefore relieving pressure from some areas of the country and increasing it in others. youngcrony
  • Score: -7

5:15pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Mr Dixon says...

A council that actually listens to its residents..... That would be a first
A council that actually listens to its residents..... That would be a first Mr Dixon
  • Score: 6

5:17pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Chocmonster7 says...

The locals don't want the building as we've been using Bellburn Field for over 100 years as a recreation area, that's why we're making our voices heard!

Ms Chapman seems to have wildly changed her stance from a few weeks ago when she told one of our members that he should realise the houses were going to be built and make sure they looked nice.

Perhaps she has realised the same people who are voicing their concerns are the ones who are going to vote next year...
The locals don't want the building as we've been using Bellburn Field for over 100 years as a recreation area, that's why we're making our voices heard! Ms Chapman seems to have wildly changed her stance from a few weeks ago when she told one of our members that he should realise the houses were going to be built and make sure they looked nice. Perhaps she has realised the same people who are voicing their concerns are the ones who are going to vote next year... Chocmonster7
  • Score: 5

5:30pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Darloresident says...

Consultation???
Done deal more like... The contracts will have already been signed..
Your voice may be heard but it certainly wont be listened to..
Consultation??? Done deal more like... The contracts will have already been signed.. Your voice may be heard but it certainly wont be listened to.. Darloresident
  • Score: 20

5:42pm Thu 26 Jun 14

ToriesRscum says...

I hope they have added the cost of dealing with direct action against these plans
I hope they have added the cost of dealing with direct action against these plans ToriesRscum
  • Score: -1

6:04pm Thu 26 Jun 14

thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth says...

Why not build on areas out of town. There are plenty of green and brown field sites. Instead of shoe horning as many poky little houses into every nook and cranny in the town.
Why not build on areas out of town. There are plenty of green and brown field sites. Instead of shoe horning as many poky little houses into every nook and cranny in the town. thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth
  • Score: 5

6:21pm Thu 26 Jun 14

LUSTARD says...

it wont affect any councillors leafy rd, and the ones who live in terraces, large terraced houses at that have a somewhat dark look in their eye. yuo have no chance, and they ae not real labour either, totally different gang
it wont affect any councillors leafy rd, and the ones who live in terraces, large terraced houses at that have a somewhat dark look in their eye. yuo have no chance, and they ae not real labour either, totally different gang LUSTARD
  • Score: -2

10:21pm Thu 26 Jun 14

mikyman says...

Keep sending in comments/objections.

'The planning dept is in a complete mess.
Keep up the pressure.
Don't let our council 'grandees' forget there are elections next May,just when they are trying to get these plans signed off by Govt inspectors.
Keep sending in comments/objections. 'The planning dept is in a complete mess. Keep up the pressure. Don't let our council 'grandees' forget there are elections next May,just when they are trying to get these plans signed off by Govt inspectors. mikyman
  • Score: 1

1:16pm Fri 27 Jun 14

DarloXman says...

I support the campaign good luck.

Very disappointed with Mrs Chapman's comments - just typical Labour spin. "What I think matters most is that residents get to take part in a process that is respectful of their views." So she just wants there to 'appear' to there has been a process where local residents have been listened to - she will next be saying you've made your point but now you have to be respectful of the council's decision!

MP's and councillors are elected by us to represent OUR views - not for us to do what they tell us. Who or where are the existing Darlington residents that they are representing who want these developments?

Again, we need to remember how useless our councillors and MPs have been in May 2015 - we need a change, we need new faces in these positions!
I support the campaign good luck. Very disappointed with Mrs Chapman's comments - just typical Labour spin. "What I think matters most is that residents get to take part in a process that is respectful of their views." So she just wants there to 'appear' to there has been a process where local residents have been listened to - she will next be saying you've made your point but now you have to be respectful of the council's decision! MP's and councillors are elected by us to represent OUR views - not for us to do what they tell us. Who or where are the existing Darlington residents that they are representing who want these developments? Again, we need to remember how useless our councillors and MPs have been in May 2015 - we need a change, we need new faces in these positions! DarloXman
  • Score: 0

4:18pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Chocmonster7 says...

If you do send in a letter don't expect to get a specific reply to any points you raise.

Seems the poor Planning department has been over-run with people contacting them to object and can't cope!

We all have to be grateful to receive a standard reply and wait for them to collate answers into a formal document.
If you do send in a letter don't expect to get a specific reply to any points you raise. Seems the poor Planning department has been over-run with people contacting them to object and can't cope! We all have to be grateful to receive a standard reply and wait for them to collate answers into a formal document. Chocmonster7
  • Score: 1

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