Councillors back £15m housing scheme, despite campaign to "Save West Rainton"

The Advertiser Series: Members of the Save West Rainton campaign Members of the Save West Rainton campaign

A RESIDENTS’ campaign to “Save West Rainton” has ended in failure, after councillors backed plans to build 150 homes in the village.

Durham County Council today (Tuesday, June 17) granted Tees Valley Housing (TVH) planning permission to build up to 150 houses and a community hub on 11 hectares of farm land off Station Road.

Villagers mounted a Save West Rainton campaign to fight the proposals, claiming the development would be far too big, the extra cars would cause traffic chaos – particularly at the junction of the A690, and harm local services.

But the council’s county planning committee, meeting at County Hall, Durham, voted seven to four in support of the scheme.

Councillor David Boyes said the project would support jobs and TVH had reduced the scale from 250 homes.

Cllr Mike Dixon said TVH was a socially responsible housing group and would provide much-needed social housing.

Cllr Paul Taylor said he did not like development in the countryside and outside the village’s settlement boundary, but the scheme would include social houses and bungalows and was well-thought out.

On the other side, Cllr Nigel Martin said the site was not allocated for housing and the proposals conflicted with council policy and he could not support them.

Cllr George Richardson said the land should be preserved for agriculture and raised concerns over the extra traffic, saying it was already almost impossible to cross the A690.

James Taylor, for TVH – a Middlesbrough-based social landlord, said the £15m scheme would bring an extra £600,000-a-year into the local economy, support 37 jobs during construction and had been reduced in size following consultation.

The estate will include 30 affordable homes, including 15 bungalows. There will also be semi-detached and detached homes, with between three and five bedrooms.

Access will be off two points of Station Road and the A690 junction will get traffic lights.

The council received 300 objection letters to the 250-home plans and a further 244 to the scaled-back scheme.

Local county councillor David Hall said West Rainton needed more infrastructure, not this housing development, which he said would create “almost a separate hamlet” with new businesses which would damage existing local shops.

However, planning officers recommended the scheme be approved and, following an hour-long debate, the committee agreed with their assessment.

Comments (3)

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10:30pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Gusbus says...

A disgraceful decision. The officers who recommended approval and the councillors who voted in favour should be ashamed. A Labour authority has taken the Conservative planning shilling to get a few cheap traffic lights which will be inadequate in answer to the problems of the A690 junction. At the same time they are destroying an area of beautiful countryside and completely changing the character of the village.
The facts are:
* A smaller proposed housing development was rejected in the 90s when the council recommended a grade-separated junction be installed on the A690. Twenty years and many more cars later and suddenly traffic lights are adequate;
* When another larger development on this site was rejected 14 years ago, the council was supposed to extend the green belt to include the land in question. Allegedly it neglected to do this, allowing the current plans to be submitted. Funny that extending the green belt now has not been considered by the council when it has taken the decision to effectively redesignate this land as suitable for housing when it wasn't designated for this purpose.
* The developer's offer of funding for the local school was withdrawn when the number of proposed houses was reduced.

Once again West Rainton has been sold short, but don't worry because there will be a "community hub" or shops to you and me. How long before this is "redesignated" as a Tesco Express?

Thanks Durham County Council. I'm sure the right minded voters of West Rainton will remember this at the next election.
A disgraceful decision. The officers who recommended approval and the councillors who voted in favour should be ashamed. A Labour authority has taken the Conservative planning shilling to get a few cheap traffic lights which will be inadequate in answer to the problems of the A690 junction. At the same time they are destroying an area of beautiful countryside and completely changing the character of the village. The facts are: * A smaller proposed housing development was rejected in the 90s when the council recommended a grade-separated junction be installed on the A690. Twenty years and many more cars later and suddenly traffic lights are adequate; * When another larger development on this site was rejected 14 years ago, the council was supposed to extend the green belt to include the land in question. Allegedly it neglected to do this, allowing the current plans to be submitted. Funny that extending the green belt now has not been considered by the council when it has taken the decision to effectively redesignate this land as suitable for housing when it wasn't designated for this purpose. * The developer's offer of funding for the local school was withdrawn when the number of proposed houses was reduced. Once again West Rainton has been sold short, but don't worry because there will be a "community hub" or shops to you and me. How long before this is "redesignated" as a Tesco Express? Thanks Durham County Council. I'm sure the right minded voters of West Rainton will remember this at the next election. Gusbus
  • Score: 9

10:12am Thu 19 Jun 14

Durhamite1979 says...

Gusbus wrote:
A disgraceful decision. The officers who recommended approval and the councillors who voted in favour should be ashamed. A Labour authority has taken the Conservative planning shilling to get a few cheap traffic lights which will be inadequate in answer to the problems of the A690 junction. At the same time they are destroying an area of beautiful countryside and completely changing the character of the village.
The facts are:
* A smaller proposed housing development was rejected in the 90s when the council recommended a grade-separated junction be installed on the A690. Twenty years and many more cars later and suddenly traffic lights are adequate;
* When another larger development on this site was rejected 14 years ago, the council was supposed to extend the green belt to include the land in question. Allegedly it neglected to do this, allowing the current plans to be submitted. Funny that extending the green belt now has not been considered by the council when it has taken the decision to effectively redesignate this land as suitable for housing when it wasn't designated for this purpose.
* The developer's offer of funding for the local school was withdrawn when the number of proposed houses was reduced.

Once again West Rainton has been sold short, but don't worry because there will be a "community hub" or shops to you and me. How long before this is "redesignated" as a Tesco Express?

Thanks Durham County Council. I'm sure the right minded voters of West Rainton will remember this at the next election.
They won't remember this at the next election though will they - this is why we get such a bunch of self-serving to$$ers in the NE - people will vote for anything as long as they claim they're 'labour', even though the labour of the 21st Century is much the same as the other Red party...
[quote][p][bold]Gusbus[/bold] wrote: A disgraceful decision. The officers who recommended approval and the councillors who voted in favour should be ashamed. A Labour authority has taken the Conservative planning shilling to get a few cheap traffic lights which will be inadequate in answer to the problems of the A690 junction. At the same time they are destroying an area of beautiful countryside and completely changing the character of the village. The facts are: * A smaller proposed housing development was rejected in the 90s when the council recommended a grade-separated junction be installed on the A690. Twenty years and many more cars later and suddenly traffic lights are adequate; * When another larger development on this site was rejected 14 years ago, the council was supposed to extend the green belt to include the land in question. Allegedly it neglected to do this, allowing the current plans to be submitted. Funny that extending the green belt now has not been considered by the council when it has taken the decision to effectively redesignate this land as suitable for housing when it wasn't designated for this purpose. * The developer's offer of funding for the local school was withdrawn when the number of proposed houses was reduced. Once again West Rainton has been sold short, but don't worry because there will be a "community hub" or shops to you and me. How long before this is "redesignated" as a Tesco Express? Thanks Durham County Council. I'm sure the right minded voters of West Rainton will remember this at the next election.[/p][/quote]They won't remember this at the next election though will they - this is why we get such a bunch of self-serving to$$ers in the NE - people will vote for anything as long as they claim they're 'labour', even though the labour of the 21st Century is much the same as the other Red party... Durhamite1979
  • Score: 2

6:40am Fri 11 Jul 14

George19 says...

NIMBYS THE LOT OF THEM. no brains, no common sense, no qualifications, just keep the rich happy and vote the way we are told by the rich.
NIMBYS THE LOT OF THEM. no brains, no common sense, no qualifications, just keep the rich happy and vote the way we are told by the rich. George19
  • Score: 1

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