Homes plan approved for Durham village

The site. Picture c/o Google
The site. Picture c/o Google

Plans for a 25-home estate in Witton Gilbert have been given the green light by county planners.

Durham County Council’s planning department recommended approval for the land adjacent to a property known as Snook Acres, off Front Street.

The application, from Witton Hall Farm, aimed to repurpose the land which is currently used for agriculture and as a paddock.

Several buildings on the site were sidelined for demolition.

However, planning officers stressed this would not include a grade-II listed building at the former Smithy.

They added the site was in a sustainable location with good transport links and would provide seven affordable homes.

But Coun Mark Davinson called for action from the applicants to preserve the listed building on the site.

Planners confirmed there was an advanced scheme in place that could see the building converted into a home in future.

Following discussion, the council’s Central and East Area Planning Committee voted unanimously to approve the plans.

To reduce the impact of the homes, planners also secured a five-figure sum from the applicant to reduce the impact on the environment and loss of space.

This included £43,477 towards play areas or facilities in the Esh and Witton Gilbert division and £14,880 towards ecology schemes.

Under the outline planning approval, full details of access, scale and layout will be rubber-stamped at a later date.

Currently, the applicant aims to create a vehicle access to the  housing estate from Front Street to the North West of the site.

This would also serve another site to the west, which was given planning approval for 14 homes in 2016.