Appeal to halt home proposals

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A CAMPAIGN group has urged newly elected and re-elected councillors to save green belt land and do their best to promote urban regeneration.

Countryside group CPRE Durham is writing to all new and returned members of Durham County Council and to all the county’s MPs to urge them to not use Durham’s green belt to build 4,000 new houses and associated roads and a warehouse development.

It follows the council’s elections held last month and comes ahead of publication, expected in October, of the final version of the Local Plan before it goes to public inquiry in 2014.

Pitch Wilson, chairman of CPRE Durham, said: “We urge all county councillors and MPs to give close scrutiny, and to rethink, the most recent draft Local Plan that has been produced by the county council.

“Building 4,000 houses in the green belt is unnecessary and unjustified.

“This is especially when there is enough brownfield land available across the county for 13,850 new houses.”

In its letter, it sets out its case that Durham’s green belt should be permanent and the tests for changing the boundaries have not been met.

It says while the county needs more housing, it is not enough to justify building it on green land.