Dozens of new affordable homes to be built

Durham County Council has approved 50 new affordable homes.
Durham County Council has approved 50 new affordable homes.

Plans to build 50 new affordable homes have been given the green light by councillors.

The bid, by applicant County Durham Housing Group, included 24 two-bedroom bungalows, 22 three-bedroom two-storey houses and four three-bedroom dormer bungalows.

Under the plans, all homes in Truro Avenue, Murton, would be provided with two parking spaces alongside an additional five spaces for visitors.

During consultation, three objections were received raising concerns about potential rises in traffic, loss of open space and lack of school places in the area.

Senior Durham County Council planning officer, Barry Gavillet, speaking at Durham County Hall, said there were no highways objections to the plans.

He added that the site was considered acceptable as it was previously a housing site 25 years ago.

Council officer requests for funds from the developer for education were unable to be met in full due to the “viability” of the scheme, the meeting heard.

Despite this, developers pledged they would provide “100 per cent affordable housing” alongside paying around £90,000 towards education and coastal protection.

Coun Joyce Maitland, who represents the Murton division, spoke in support of the application stating the homes plan would double the number of bungalows in the area.

John Brooks, representing the applicant, added the plan would meet the “strong demand” for affordable homes in Murton with parking spaces helping to minimise on-street parking in the area.

Following discussion, the committee voted unanimously to approve the plans in line with officers recommendations.

The housing plan will be in linked to several planning conditions and a Section 106 agreement between Durham County Council and the developer.

This will see the developer pay £32,949 for Durham Coastal Management, £34,925 for play facilities in the Murton area and £22,000 for education provision.

All of the new homes will also be offered at affordable rent or under the government backed ‘Rent to Buy’ scheme.

County Durham Housing Group development manager, Tom Winter, speaking after the meeting, added: “Across the whole country demand for genuinely affordable homes has probably never been higher, and that’s no different in Murton.

“We’re really pleased to have planning permission for this project and now preparations to start physical work can get underway.

“It’s an exciting development of high quality properties. I think it’s going to make a huge difference to this part of the town as well as providing good, affordable homes for dozens of families.”

Work on the site in Truro Avenue is due to begin during 2019 and the first tenants are expected to move into their new homes in early 2020.

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service