Willington Council opposes 220 homes plan

The Advertiser Series: COUNCIL OBJECTS: Willington mayor Fraser Tinsley has written to Signet Planning to object to the proposed homes COUNCIL OBJECTS: Willington mayor Fraser Tinsley has written to Signet Planning to object to the proposed homes

PLANS to build more than 200 homes on two fields is being opposed by a town council, which believes they are unneeded.

Signet Planning is currently consulting over two schemes in the Willington area which are in the very early stages.

It is proposing to build 150 homes in Sunnybrow and a further 70 on the western edge of Willington.

More than 80 members of the public attended a meeting called by Greater Willington Town Council to discuss the proposals.

Willington mayor Fraser Tinsley said the overwhelming response was one of objection.

He has now written to Signet Planning to voice his and the council’s concerns.

Cllr Tinsley said there is no need for housing on the land and said the schemes would ruin the surroundings for existing residents.

“Development of the lands will potentially have a negative impact on the amenity of neighbouring residential properties in terms of overlooking, noise and disturbance.

“The proposals will result in an unacceptable visual impact on areas of countryside that act as important visual and physical breaks between settlements in the area.”

He also raised concerns over roads being unable to cope with the extra traffic generated by the developments and said there is simply not the space for them.

Cllr Tinsley said: “Development of the scale and nature proposed will be poorly integrated with the existing built areas of Willington and Sunnybrow in terms of pedestrian and vehicular access.

“There is insufficient capacity within local schools and other essential facilities to accommodate development of the scale and nature proposed.”

The mayor also said the two areas proposed for development are prone to flooding and building on both would harm nearby wildlife habitats.

Signet Planning have listed details of the two schemes on their website and are inviting members of the public to comment.

The Sunnybrow scheme would see 150 homes built on fields behind Cherry Tree Drive and Greenways bordering the former community centre and children’s play area on South View.

A new access road would be linked to Hunwick Lane opposite the Barton Townley garage with the developer also building a new community centre, as well as a play area and parkland.

Mayor Tinsley said there is “significant ambiguity and questionable need” for the proposed centre.

Signet Planning are also proposing to build up to 70 homes on a field off West Road on the western approach to Willington from Crook.

No-one was available to comment when the company was contacted by The Northern Echo yesterday

Both plans are only at initial consultation stages with more detailed proposals to be brought forward at a later date subject to approval.

For more information or to comment, visit signetplanning.com

Comments (8)

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5:42pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Jeff Robinson says...

As Sunnybrow residents we must commend Greater Willington Town Council for taking a strong and unequivocal position opposing Signet Planning’s proposals to build an unwanted and unneeded 150 houses in Sunnybrow and 70 houses in Willington.

Such development would blight both areas and the Council’s views reflect local residents’ strong opposition to the proposals which were aired by the record attendance of 82 members of the public when the issue was discussed at the Council’s recent planning meeting.

This contrasts sharply with Signet Planning who were invited to the meeting but did not attend, made their latest proposal consultation only accessible online and were not available to comment to the Northern Echo.

Residents have been readied by these proposals to ensure that if ever and whenever Signet Planning decide to make such planning applications we will provide the strongest opposition to the plans, not just by weight of numbers but by the evident strength of arguments against the proposed developments.

Jeff and Claire Robinson.
As Sunnybrow residents we must commend Greater Willington Town Council for taking a strong and unequivocal position opposing Signet Planning’s proposals to build an unwanted and unneeded 150 houses in Sunnybrow and 70 houses in Willington. Such development would blight both areas and the Council’s views reflect local residents’ strong opposition to the proposals which were aired by the record attendance of 82 members of the public when the issue was discussed at the Council’s recent planning meeting. This contrasts sharply with Signet Planning who were invited to the meeting but did not attend, made their latest proposal consultation only accessible online and were not available to comment to the Northern Echo. Residents have been readied by these proposals to ensure that if ever and whenever Signet Planning decide to make such planning applications we will provide the strongest opposition to the plans, not just by weight of numbers but by the evident strength of arguments against the proposed developments. Jeff and Claire Robinson. Jeff Robinson
  • Score: 7

8:49am Thu 24 Jul 14

Jeff Robinson says...

We invite anyone involved in last night’s block ‘dislike’ of our previous message to make their own comments on the matter.

Jeff and Claire Robinson.
We invite anyone involved in last night’s block ‘dislike’ of our previous message to make their own comments on the matter. Jeff and Claire Robinson. Jeff Robinson
  • Score: 10

11:33am Thu 24 Jul 14

jude666 says...

I suppose the opposition was primarily by people living in Sunnybrow. Same with the bungalow that is being turned into a children's home, opposition only by the people in the immediate vicinity. The local council and mayor had no such objection to private properties being rented out as half way houses in Willington, maybe there should be some consistency if they are so concerned about peoples quality of life. As to the comments about flooding, its not just those fields that flood, the whole of the area does due to poor drainage and lack of drain maintenance, which again the council has done nothing about. Willington is in desperate need of an influx of new money, the shops, pubs etc are all struggling and this will make a massive difference to the local economy. If services struggle then increase their capacity its not rocket science. I think this is more a case of 'not in my back yard' rather than concern for the town.
I suppose the opposition was primarily by people living in Sunnybrow. Same with the bungalow that is being turned into a children's home, opposition only by the people in the immediate vicinity. The local council and mayor had no such objection to private properties being rented out as half way houses in Willington, maybe there should be some consistency if they are so concerned about peoples quality of life. As to the comments about flooding, its not just those fields that flood, the whole of the area does due to poor drainage and lack of drain maintenance, which again the council has done nothing about. Willington is in desperate need of an influx of new money, the shops, pubs etc are all struggling and this will make a massive difference to the local economy. If services struggle then increase their capacity its not rocket science. I think this is more a case of 'not in my back yard' rather than concern for the town. jude666
  • Score: -5

4:08pm Thu 24 Jul 14

settheworldonfire says...

jude666 wrote:
I suppose the opposition was primarily by people living in Sunnybrow. Same with the bungalow that is being turned into a children's home, opposition only by the people in the immediate vicinity. The local council and mayor had no such objection to private properties being rented out as half way houses in Willington, maybe there should be some consistency if they are so concerned about peoples quality of life. As to the comments about flooding, its not just those fields that flood, the whole of the area does due to poor drainage and lack of drain maintenance, which again the council has done nothing about. Willington is in desperate need of an influx of new money, the shops, pubs etc are all struggling and this will make a massive difference to the local economy. If services struggle then increase their capacity its not rocket science. I think this is more a case of 'not in my back yard' rather than concern for the town.
Well said, someone with common sense.....People need houses and if they decide to include say, 20 houses for affordable rent then let them be built....
NIMBY'S AGAIN...
Willington is dying...Stop the oh!!! It might flood ...The roads cannot cope....The schools cannot cope.....Progress is needed and it should be allowed.....
[quote][p][bold]jude666[/bold] wrote: I suppose the opposition was primarily by people living in Sunnybrow. Same with the bungalow that is being turned into a children's home, opposition only by the people in the immediate vicinity. The local council and mayor had no such objection to private properties being rented out as half way houses in Willington, maybe there should be some consistency if they are so concerned about peoples quality of life. As to the comments about flooding, its not just those fields that flood, the whole of the area does due to poor drainage and lack of drain maintenance, which again the council has done nothing about. Willington is in desperate need of an influx of new money, the shops, pubs etc are all struggling and this will make a massive difference to the local economy. If services struggle then increase their capacity its not rocket science. I think this is more a case of 'not in my back yard' rather than concern for the town.[/p][/quote]Well said, someone with common sense.....People need houses and if they decide to include say, 20 houses for affordable rent then let them be built.... NIMBY'S AGAIN... Willington is dying...Stop the oh!!! It might flood ...The roads cannot cope....The schools cannot cope.....Progress is needed and it should be allowed..... settheworldonfire
  • Score: -8

9:56pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Jeff Robinson says...

We welcome your comments jude666 and settheworldonfire and are pleased that your own interaction is more cordial than your comments following the original Northern Echo piece on 1st July.

Obviously we hope the developers now realise their plans for Sunnybrow and Willington are misguided. However if planning applications are submitted we invite you to attend the subsequent residents’ meeting.

Then having heard all the arguments regarding the specific schemes you can decide whether objections are based purely on NIMBYism or valid reasons based on planning policy why such development is completely inappropriate.

Jeff and Claire Robinson.
We welcome your comments jude666 and settheworldonfire and are pleased that your own interaction is more cordial than your comments following the original Northern Echo piece on 1st July. Obviously we hope the developers now realise their plans for Sunnybrow and Willington are misguided. However if planning applications are submitted we invite you to attend the subsequent residents’ meeting. Then having heard all the arguments regarding the specific schemes you can decide whether objections are based purely on NIMBYism or valid reasons based on planning policy why such development is completely inappropriate. Jeff and Claire Robinson. Jeff Robinson
  • Score: 11

8:42am Fri 25 Jul 14

jude666 says...

Jeff Robinson wrote:
We welcome your comments jude666 and settheworldonfire and are pleased that your own interaction is more cordial than your comments following the original Northern Echo piece on 1st July.

Obviously we hope the developers now realise their plans for Sunnybrow and Willington are misguided. However if planning applications are submitted we invite you to attend the subsequent residents’ meeting.

Then having heard all the arguments regarding the specific schemes you can decide whether objections are based purely on NIMBYism or valid reasons based on planning policy why such development is completely inappropriate.

Jeff and Claire Robinson.
I am assuming that it is the residents of the Cherry Tree drive estate that are up in arms about this development and I am also assuming that the field is also owned privately (please correct me if I am wrong on either point). I am Willington born and bred and I remember when the 'new' (cherry tree drive) estate was built and here is where my problem lies. That 'new' estate was built on a lush green field, not dissimilar to the one earmarked for the latest development, however that field was not privately owned - it was owned by the COUNCIL. So for them and our 'mayor' to now be so vocal in their objection, well....... Bureaucratic? Hypocritical? take your pick.
[quote][p][bold]Jeff Robinson[/bold] wrote: We welcome your comments jude666 and settheworldonfire and are pleased that your own interaction is more cordial than your comments following the original Northern Echo piece on 1st July. Obviously we hope the developers now realise their plans for Sunnybrow and Willington are misguided. However if planning applications are submitted we invite you to attend the subsequent residents’ meeting. Then having heard all the arguments regarding the specific schemes you can decide whether objections are based purely on NIMBYism or valid reasons based on planning policy why such development is completely inappropriate. Jeff and Claire Robinson.[/p][/quote]I am assuming that it is the residents of the Cherry Tree drive estate that are up in arms about this development and I am also assuming that the field is also owned privately (please correct me if I am wrong on either point). I am Willington born and bred and I remember when the 'new' (cherry tree drive) estate was built and here is where my problem lies. That 'new' estate was built on a lush green field, not dissimilar to the one earmarked for the latest development, however that field was not privately owned - it was owned by the COUNCIL. So for them and our 'mayor' to now be so vocal in their objection, well....... Bureaucratic? Hypocritical? take your pick. jude666
  • Score: -8

5:31pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Jeff Robinson says...

Obviously we cannot account for the previous actions of the Town Council or County Council.

Regarding the Sunnybrow proposal, this would directly affect Cherry Tree Drive, Greenways, Bridge Street, Saxby Drive, Huntsgarth, Fairfield Walk and Northrop Close and have an immediate impact on all of Sunnybrow. It would replace the open green space at the centre of Sunnybrow with housing totalling over 20% of the current number of properties in the village.

And that is before mentioning the other pressing planning issues which make this area completely unsuitable for development.

Jeff and Claire Robinson.
Obviously we cannot account for the previous actions of the Town Council or County Council. Regarding the Sunnybrow proposal, this would directly affect Cherry Tree Drive, Greenways, Bridge Street, Saxby Drive, Huntsgarth, Fairfield Walk and Northrop Close and have an immediate impact on all of Sunnybrow. It would replace the open green space at the centre of Sunnybrow with housing totalling over 20% of the current number of properties in the village. And that is before mentioning the other pressing planning issues which make this area completely unsuitable for development. Jeff and Claire Robinson. Jeff Robinson
  • Score: 11

9:51am Sat 26 Jul 14

fredfromwillington says...

Very interesting the comments of settheworldonfire, not two weeks ago he was calling Willington full of 'Druggies and Robbers', oh how a couple of weeks can change a persons opinion. The real issue is based on need, are more houses needed in the area, if so, they need to be built somewhere. The huge issue is that the infra-structure in Willington and the surrounding areas for that matter, don't have the facilities to deal with the influx of new houses. If a developer can deal with these real issues then fine go ahead and build, but schools cant currently cope, neither can the doctors etc. Im personally not against the development it can only be good for the area, but not necessarily for the economy of the area as no doubt like the rest of us the new residents will head off to that out of town shopping area that's killed off Bishop Auckland Newgate Street!!! Ill not go down that route otherwise it could be a rant. The County Council are the issue, they will ultimately make the decisions, I do find it strange looking at the Town Councils current stance, will that remain the same once the Big House (County Hall) Labour party tell the Town Council whats happening. I agree everyone has an opinion, and each and everyones opinion is valid but who will have the final say on this development.........
....... yep that's right County Hall!!!!
Very interesting the comments of settheworldonfire, not two weeks ago he was calling Willington full of 'Druggies and Robbers', oh how a couple of weeks can change a persons opinion. The real issue is based on need, are more houses needed in the area, if so, they need to be built somewhere. The huge issue is that the infra-structure in Willington and the surrounding areas for that matter, don't have the facilities to deal with the influx of new houses. If a developer can deal with these real issues then fine go ahead and build, but schools cant currently cope, neither can the doctors etc. Im personally not against the development it can only be good for the area, but not necessarily for the economy of the area as no doubt like the rest of us the new residents will head off to that out of town shopping area that's killed off Bishop Auckland Newgate Street!!! Ill not go down that route otherwise it could be a rant. The County Council are the issue, they will ultimately make the decisions, I do find it strange looking at the Town Councils current stance, will that remain the same once the Big House (County Hall) Labour party tell the Town Council whats happening. I agree everyone has an opinion, and each and everyones opinion is valid but who will have the final say on this development......... ....... yep that's right County Hall!!!! fredfromwillington
  • Score: -3

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