Plans for nearly 100 homes on ‘green wedge’ refused

Controversial plans to build 98 homes on a ‘green wedge’ between Easington Village and Peterlee have been snubbed by councillors.

Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 12:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 1:03 pm
Land To The South Of Nursery Gardens, Thorpe Road, Easington.

Gleeson Regeneration Ltd aimed to build a new estate on land south of Nursery Gardens, off Thorpe Road, on the southern side of Easington Village.

However, nearly 100 residents living near the site lodged objections, with planning officers recommending the plans to be refused.

Easington Village Parish Council, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and MP Grahame Morris were also among objectors, with the council also receiving a 684-signature petition.

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Applicants previously said the proposals would deliver “quality new homes” for local people, and provide “much-needed” housing in the location.

But several top council officers criticised the scheme which failed to meet planning tests around design, drainage, sustainability and impact on protected nature areas.

Durham County Council’s Central and East Planning Committee voted to refuse the plans.

At the meeting, Easington councillors pleaded for the committee to scrap the plans over fears about wider housing developments in the area.

Coun David Boyes said the plans, combined with proposals for 900 homes to the south, could see Peterlee and Easington merge into one settlement.

He said: “I have nothing against Peterlee but Easington is a 1,000-year-old settlement. It’s incongruous in the extreme to see Easington Village, if this development goes ahead, subsumed into a greater Peterlee.

A previous application for 129 houses on the site was made in 2017, which was also met with objection from people in Easington Village.

Chairman of the North East branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Richard Cowen, welcomed the decision.

He said: “County Durham has sufficient land for a five-year housing supply elsewhere in the county without resorting to sites so clearly in breach of important policies in the Easington Local Plan like this one.

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service