Derelict school could be demolished

A DERELICT former school labelled an eyesore could finally be demolished after restrictions on the use of the site were removed.

St Peter’s, on the outskirts of Gainford, between Darlington and Barnard Castle, has stood empty for more than a decade.

Redevelopment of the land has been stifled because the site had been reserved for business use.

However, at a recent meeting of Gainford and Langton Parish Council, it was confirmed that this designation has been dropped from the draft County Durham Plan – opening up the possibilities for other uses of the site, including housing.

A Durham County Council delegation, led by area planning team leader Gavin Scott, attended the meeting to brief members on the plan and how it might affect Gainford.

Mr Scott confirmed that, unlike in previous development plans drawn up by the now defunct Teesdale District Council, St Peter’s is no longer protected for business use in the County Durham Plan.

“As such, and as a brownfield site, it could be considered for conversion or redevelopment for other uses, including residential,” he said.

However, the prospect of a large housing estate on the site has provoked fears that Gainford could become nothing more than a commuter village for Darlington and other towns.

Parish councillor Sarah Hannon said: “No employment or retail land has been identified anywhere closer than Barnard Castle.

“If you put extra housing into the area and if there are no extra jobs or retail outlets, the village is just going to be empty in the day.”

One member of the public who attended the parish council meeting pointed out that Gainford had lost several businesses in recent years – and the jobs that went with them – including St Peter’s, which operated as a nursing home prior to its closure in 1998.

“St Peter’s was designated for employment for years,” he said, urging members to consider maintaining that option and think long term so that there was the possibility that new jobs could be created for the village.

The draft County Durham Plan preferred options report consultation runs until November 2.

Visit durham.gov.uk for more details.

Comments (3)

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5:58pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Spy Boy says...

I always thought that it was a commuter village for Darlington. There is only farming there now. I'm not sure what sort of retail outlet could go there. Maybe some really affordable houses in a traditional style could be provided for the young people of the village. Actually, it would make a nice retirement home. Possibly on the lines of the E D Walker homes. A nice little garden suburb of the village, with a carer in residence. I look at it this way; As people get older they may like just a nice little place in the village. They could then pass their older houses and cottages on to their children and their young families. This keeps the village together and stops people with limitless cash from buying up all the village properties and leaving nowhere for the people who have lived there all their lives.
I always thought that it was a commuter village for Darlington. There is only farming there now. I'm not sure what sort of retail outlet could go there. Maybe some really affordable houses in a traditional style could be provided for the young people of the village. Actually, it would make a nice retirement home. Possibly on the lines of the E D Walker homes. A nice little garden suburb of the village, with a carer in residence. I look at it this way; As people get older they may like just a nice little place in the village. They could then pass their older houses and cottages on to their children and their young families. This keeps the village together and stops people with limitless cash from buying up all the village properties and leaving nowhere for the people who have lived there all their lives. Spy Boy

9:04am Tue 9 Oct 12

kristal27 says...

Spy Boy wrote:
I always thought that it was a commuter village for Darlington. There is only farming there now. I'm not sure what sort of retail outlet could go there. Maybe some really affordable houses in a traditional style could be provided for the young people of the village. Actually, it would make a nice retirement home. Possibly on the lines of the E D Walker homes. A nice little garden suburb of the village, with a carer in residence. I look at it this way; As people get older they may like just a nice little place in the village. They could then pass their older houses and cottages on to their children and their young families. This keeps the village together and stops people with limitless cash from buying up all the village properties and leaving nowhere for the people who have lived there all their lives.
Totally agree. The last thing any village around Darlington needs are more 'Executive' Homes -and 'Affordable' homes cannot be purchased by young local people because they can't get a mortgage. St. Peters would make a lovely retirement appartment complex -perhaps with a bowls club and swimming pool -yes excellent idea Spyboy
[quote][p][bold]Spy Boy[/bold] wrote: I always thought that it was a commuter village for Darlington. There is only farming there now. I'm not sure what sort of retail outlet could go there. Maybe some really affordable houses in a traditional style could be provided for the young people of the village. Actually, it would make a nice retirement home. Possibly on the lines of the E D Walker homes. A nice little garden suburb of the village, with a carer in residence. I look at it this way; As people get older they may like just a nice little place in the village. They could then pass their older houses and cottages on to their children and their young families. This keeps the village together and stops people with limitless cash from buying up all the village properties and leaving nowhere for the people who have lived there all their lives.[/p][/quote]Totally agree. The last thing any village around Darlington needs are more 'Executive' Homes -and 'Affordable' homes cannot be purchased by young local people because they can't get a mortgage. St. Peters would make a lovely retirement appartment complex -perhaps with a bowls club and swimming pool -yes excellent idea Spyboy kristal27

12:45pm Tue 23 Oct 12

darkhorse1 says...

Poor journalism....
The discussion in the meeting realted to the fact that durham county council have excluded St Peters, from the draft plan.
The rationale was an alternative greenfield site had been found.
A member of the public did mention St Peter's exisitng planning permission would lapse, allowing then owners to re-apply without the need develop the site to included commercial/employmen
t opportunities.
The point however is somewhat moot, as DCC has, despite the fact it currently has planning permission, decided to exclude St peters from the spatial plan, compeltely - citing the site is unsutiable for development.
This would mean the building would stay, and the brownfield site would remain as is - as the council have already determined where they wish to build.
St Peters will remain as it is for the foreseable future should the councils draft plan proceed as it is.

It would appear Mr Laundy nfailed to notice the main points of the discussion - which were absed arouind the fact the county council is pushing to develop a greenfield site, on land which has access and flooding issues - whilst ignoring a brownfield site, which the peoiple of Gainford would prefer to have development.
Stuart also appears to have failed to pick up on the admission by the county council representatives that they hadn't actually identified a need fro the housing planned for Gainford - rather they needed some hosues in coutny durham - had picked Gainford for some of them, and had picked the location "because it filled in the space, making it neat".

in fairness, the reporting is only as poor in its research as the draft county plan has been..
Poor journalism.... The discussion in the meeting realted to the fact that durham county council have excluded St Peters, from the draft plan. The rationale was an alternative greenfield site had been found. A member of the public did mention St Peter's exisitng planning permission would lapse, allowing then owners to re-apply without the need develop the site to included commercial/employmen t opportunities. The point however is somewhat moot, as DCC has, despite the fact it currently has planning permission, decided to exclude St peters from the spatial plan, compeltely - citing the site is unsutiable for development. This would mean the building would stay, and the brownfield site would remain as is - as the council have already determined where they wish to build. St Peters will remain as it is for the foreseable future should the councils draft plan proceed as it is. It would appear Mr Laundy nfailed to notice the main points of the discussion - which were absed arouind the fact the county council is pushing to develop a greenfield site, on land which has access and flooding issues - whilst ignoring a brownfield site, which the peoiple of Gainford would prefer to have development. Stuart also appears to have failed to pick up on the admission by the county council representatives that they hadn't actually identified a need fro the housing planned for Gainford - rather they needed some hosues in coutny durham - had picked Gainford for some of them, and had picked the location "because it filled in the space, making it neat". in fairness, the reporting is only as poor in its research as the draft county plan has been.. darkhorse1

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