Residents' delight as plans for new flats are rejected

RESIDENTS are celebrating after controversial plans to build six flats on a quiet Darlington street were rejected by councillors.

The proposal to site the flats on a derelict patch of land on Pendower Street attracted 32 objections, with residents pointing out that the area fell within the Northgate conservation area.

Concerns were also raised over a lack of parking spaces and whether the quiet cul de sac was a suitable place for a new block of flats.

Darlington Council’s planning applications committee refused planning permission when it met this week and Pendower Street resident Rachel Stocker, who spoke passionately against the proposal, was delighted with the outcome.

She said: “I am feeling relived, I think the right decision has been made.

“I think that the developers are trying to be greedy; I am not a ‘nimby’, we want to see the land developed, but it has to be in the right way.

“This was about the residents standing up for what we believe in.”

A proposal for eight flats was first put forward and rejected in 2010 and despite amendments being made to the design of the building and the number of flats reduced to six, councillors decided that their initial concerns including lack of parking and an over-intensification of housing were still valid.

Councillor David Lyonette said: “I don’t see an awful lot of difference that these proposals have over the one before.

“And to be taking five trees out of a conservation area is unheard of.”

Speaking on behalf of the developer Tom Wilks, John Taylor said that it would be “sensible and sustainable” for the council to allow development on the brownfield site.

He said: “It is a pretty awful site.

“At the moment it is derelict land, it isn’t owned by the council so it isn’t open public space; there are derelict garages on there and the site is very low quality as far as greenery is concerned.”

He added that a survey showed that parking on the street was not an issue and that the development would include four of its own off-street spaces.

The developer can appeal against the decision.

Comments (1)

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10:07am Fri 18 Jan 13

noctu says...

I was present at this meeting and could not believe the sheer arrogance the applicant's representative displayed. He seemed to imply that the residents should be thankful that something - anything - was going to be built there! Never mind that it was three storeys, in a Conservation area, necessitating the removal of 5 trees with very little parking provision and causing privacy issues for the existing residents opposite.

This piece of land is an eyesore and needs developing, however a large block of 1 bed flats is simply not appropriate especially in a quiet cul de sac.

I am glad that the Councillors were able to see the significant flaws in the proposal and make a refusal.
I was present at this meeting and could not believe the sheer arrogance the applicant's representative displayed. He seemed to imply that the residents should be thankful that something - anything - was going to be built there! Never mind that it was three storeys, in a Conservation area, necessitating the removal of 5 trees with very little parking provision and causing privacy issues for the existing residents opposite. This piece of land is an eyesore and needs developing, however a large block of 1 bed flats is simply not appropriate especially in a quiet cul de sac. I am glad that the Councillors were able to see the significant flaws in the proposal and make a refusal. noctu

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