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Residents' concerns over Darlington 'grassland' housing plans
REVISED plans to build dozens of homes on grassland in Darlington have been met with concern from nearby residents.
Following a public consultation last summer, planners at Darlington Borough Council produced a revised Making and Growing Places policy, which highlights areas for potential development in the borough up to 2026.
The revised policy outlines plans for 6,200 new dwellings – an increase of 400 from the initial proposal published last year.
To accommodate the increase, planners have allocated new housing sites that were not included in the initial draft policy, as well as increasing the number of houses planned for existing sites.
As a result, around 50 new homes are now proposed for green space between Bellburn Lane and Hartington Way, off Brinkburn Road – an increase of around 18 dwellings – with 1.8 hectares of open space now included in the design.
Bellburn Lane resident, Mike Crawley, who had campaigned against the authority’s initial plans for 32 dwellings, said he was disappointed with the new proposals.
He said: “Residents are very disappointed. It is bad enough saying 32 houses, but now there are 50.
“It is taking away a place where people walk their dogs and where children play football. On a Saturday morning there is a group football match – where are they going to have that?
“What was the point of a consultation if they are just going ignore people’s views?”
The grandfather-of-one, who has lived in the street for 14 years, also raised concerns about the amount of traffic that would be using Brinkburn Road if the plans are approved.
He said: “If you stick in 50 houses, with around 75 cars you are going to get around 150 cars trying to get out of Bellburn Lane. The road is jammed at it is.”
Mr Crawley urged nearby residents to air their views on the proposal at bellburngreenspace.btck.co.uk
Members of Darlington council’s cabinet approved the revised report at a meeting on Tuesday (April 29), and public consultation will run from May 23 to July 4.
Information on consultation events wiil be made available on the council’s website.
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