School fears over village housing bid

Darlington and Stockton Times: DECISION DUE: Planning committee at County Hall will vote on the application next week DECISION DUE: Planning committee at County Hall will vote on the application next week

COUNCILLORS will decide next week on an application to build housing on farmland on the edge of a village.

Developer DBS Steel Build has applied for outline planning permission to build housing on a 1.7-hectare site in South Hetton.

Although the outline application does not specify the number of houses which would be built on the site, it indicates that the parcel of land to the south of Front Street would accommodate approximately 58 homes.

Access to the estate would be directly off the A182 near Logan Terrace, with the site bordered by woodland to the south and Whitesgate Equestrian Centre to the west.

Outline planning permission was granted last year for an 80-house development on land to the north of Windsor Drive in South Hetton, around 200-metres away from the current application, and concerns have been raised in the village about the impact of extra housing.

South Hetton Parish Council is formally objecting to the new proposal, raising concerns about road access and the capacity of local school to cope with extra residents, while Durham County Council’s own education team has confirmed that extra school places would be needed if the development were to go ahead.

A further 32 letters of objection have been submitted by residents highlighting concerns over road safety and traffic congestion, as well as the impact on local schools.

Planning officers have recommended that the application be refused on the grounds that it would encroach on open countryside.

Members of Durham County Council’s area planning committee will vote on the application at County Hall on Tuesday.

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