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Langley Moor housing scheme gets go-ahead, despite Green Belt concerns
COUNCILLORS have overruled the concerns of villagers and planning officials to back building more than 30 homes on Durham’s green belt.
Developer Dunelm Homes wants to build 34 houses, with two to four bedrooms each, on open land in Langley Moor.
However, the proposed site, a field between Onslow Terrace, Mill Lane and the East Coast Main Line, is part of the protected Durham Green Belt and, as such, Durham County Council planning officers had recommended the scheme be rejected.
Neighbours were also unhappy at the proposals, saying the new estate would increase traffic and congestion. Fifteen residents wrote letters to the council and 52 signed a petition.
But councillors on the Central and East area planning committee today (Tuesday, January 15) unanimously supported the project.
Given the Green Belt issue, it will have to go to the Secretary of State for final approval.
Councillors were impressed by a claim by George Brookes, speaking for Dunelm Homes, that the scheme would create 20 new jobs.
Coun John Bailey said: “We need the properties and the jobs.”
Coun Armstrong said: “What we’re about in this county is regeneration and jobs.
“Here we’ve got a chance to take a piece of land that’s derelict and do something with it.”
Councillors heard the site could be removed from the Green Belt under the emerging County Durham Plan.
Coun Armstrong asked whether planning permission could be granted pending this proposed change.
However, planning officer Henry Jones said this would be unwise.
Coun John Turnbull, whose Brandon ward includes Langley Moor, said the volume of traffic in the area was terrible.
Coun Paul Taylor, another Brandon councillor, said the scheme was inappropriate and councillors needed to protect the Green Belt.
However, as chair of the County Hall meeting, he declined to vote and the scheme was approved unanimously.
Coun Robin Todd said the loss of Green Belt would be “minimal”.
Seven of the new homes will be “affordable”.
In a letter to the council, Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods said she considered the proposal suitable for the area and was happy with the affordable housing provision.