Plans revealed to build dozens of new homes

Benridge Bank, West Rainton, opposite where 64 homes could be built.
Benridge Bank, West Rainton, opposite where 64 homes could be built.

Developers have revealed further details of their surprise bid to build a new housing estate.

Avant Homes unexpectedly held a public consultation event in August to discuss its proposals for West Rainton.

It has now followed up the exhibition with a planning application to build 64 new homes in fields off Benridge Bank, at the eastern edge of the village, near the A690.

The two-storey properties range from two to five bedrooms with 10 falling into the affordable bracket.

Documents lodged by the Chesterfield company with Durham County Council state: "The mix of sizes and styles of houses proposed will support a range of different needs from first time buyers and downsizers to larger established families."

Although the planning application insists the homes and their owners would have a "minimal" effect on traffic, Avant Homes proposes a "white-lining scheme" to assist drivers turning into and out of Benridge Bank.

It also plans similar improvements further west on the A690 Durham-bound carriageway for motorists turning right into the village at Chantry Place.

West Rainton and Leamside Parish Council is due to discuss the application at its next meeting on Thursday night.

Chairman Iain Clifford said earlier this year that the scheme was a "concern" given that Tees Valley Housing already had planning permission for 150 homes in Station Road at the other end of the village.

He said this week: "We need to study the Avant scheme in greater detail.

"I'm led to believe that the local school could cope but I'm not so sure about the sewers and the surgery and then there is the traffic."

One potential early obstacle is that Durham County Council's Strategic Housing Market Assessment requires another three of the company's homes to fall within the affordable bracket.

A date for when the application will be discussed by the council has still to be decided.

Other West Rainton stories:

Footpath to doctors' surgery may be saved

Warning letters sent out to speeding motorists