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Villagers fight church plans to build 100 homes

Unhappy residents... news of a proposed housing development on farmland next to Markle Grove in east Rainton has not been welcomed by these residents.

Unhappy residents... news of a proposed housing development on farmland next to Markle Grove in east Rainton has not been welcomed by these residents.

ANGRY residents today hit out at proposals by church bosses to build almost 100 new homes on their doorstep which they argue will “destroy” their village.

Durham Chapter and Croxdale Farms Limited have submitted plans to create 96 executive homes on separating land off Durham Lane, next to East Rainton Cricket Club’s pitch.

But those living nearby claim there are already too many homes in the village, that their house prices will drop and a popular area for dog walkers will be ruined.

Other issues with the plans include increased traffic congestion and green belt land will be lost should it get the go-ahead.

Pat and Geoff Thompson have recently installed a balcony in their Markle Grove home, which overlooks the development area, but say it will go to waste if the plans are approved as the view will be blocked by homes.

“When we bought the house three years ago, we were told it was highly unlikely that it would be built on, but it looks like that has changed,” said Mr Thompson, 58.

Robert Lamb, 67, who has lived in Markle Grove for the past 30 years, added: “If this is approved, it could open the floodgates to developers being able to build on settlement breaks.

“There are homes planned at Broomhill and 300 homes for North Road in Hetton as well, so if we see these houses built too, all the traffic will be heading towards the A690 at Rainton Bridge.

“I’m complaining to the Durham Chapter and to the Bishop of Durham about it.”

Neighbour Reg Coulson, 69, said: “The development will extend this whole part of the village by double. It will destroy it.

“There is also the fact that it’s on crop-growing ground where they want to build, so that will all be lost.

“I don’t see why they should be allowed to build either. There are estates in Fence Houses which were finished five or six years ago and all the houses there still aren’t sold.”

Bosses from East Rainton Cricket Club have also said they oppose the plans and added that they have not been given formal notification of the proposals – despite the development site being just yards from their ground.

Andrew Burnett, projects director of agent Buckley Burnett which has put forward the plans, said: “Local authorities are charged with significantly boosting the delivery of housing given the national shortfall of quarter of a million homes.

“This sustainable proposal allows the city council to deliver the right homes in the right location, boosting the supply of new homes in Sunderland and, in the process, providing the full quota of affordable homes in accordance with the local authorities requirements.”

A consultation over the plans, which can be viewed on Sunderland City Council’s website, ends on Friday, May 2.

 

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