Councillors back £200m housing scheme for Mt Oswald

The Northern Echo: An artist's impression of the scheme An artist's impression of the scheme

CAMPAIGNERS said they were devastated and it was a very sad day for Durham after controversial plans for a £200m housing development on a city golf course were approved by councillors.

Following a two-hour debate this afternoon (Tuesday, February 5), Durham County Council’s county planning committee backed Banks Property’s plans to build nearly 300 homes, accommodation for 1,000 students, offices and community facilities on the 95-acre Mount Oswald golf course, off South Road, by a large majority – with just four voting against.

Afterwards, Alan Wray, from the Save Mount Oswald Campaign, said: “I’m totally devastated. A magnificent entry to the city will now be lost, swallowed up by houses.”

Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods said: “I think it’s really sad for Durham and democracy.”

Neville’s Cross councillor Nigel Martin said: “I’m extremely disappointed and devastated. Durham has missed a fantastic opportunity to build something positive for the community.”

However, Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at Banks Group, said: “This decision is extremely positive news for both the local area and wider region on many levels and will directly support Durham County Council’s vision of Durham City acting as a driver of economic growth in the county.

“Our vision for Mount Oswald is to create an outstanding, high quality, low density, sustainable new neighbourhood of families and students with a green infrastructure that provides new green links and wildlife habitats and is well connected to public transport.”

The plans include: a University Quarter with 1,000 student beds, a community hub and offices accessed off South Road, Neighbourhood North with 218 homes – including 32 for the elderly – accessed off the A167, Neighbourhood South with 57 homes and Central Park with a millionaires’ row of 16 self-design homes.

More than 2,000 people signed a petition against the scheme and more than 120 people attended today’s meeting.

Coun John Shuttleworth raised traffic concerns and Coun Paul Taylor said the scheme was not appropriate.

However, Coun Dennis Southwell said the £200m investment was an “absolute dream” and Coun Pauline Charlton said the county had to move forward and develop.

Afterwards, Mr Dowdall said subject to further detailed planning applications work could begin on site within a year.

Dr Blackman-Woods is considering referring the matter to the Secretary of State or pursuing a judicial review.

More Durham County Council News

Comments (5)

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7:37pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Birdyy says...

I hope the extra student places will result in more houses being let for private in the city.
I hope the extra student places will result in more houses being let for private in the city. Birdyy

3:15pm Wed 6 Feb 13

scprof says...

Birdyy wrote:
I hope the extra student places will result in more houses being let for private in the city.
No chance
[quote][p][bold]Birdyy[/bold] wrote: I hope the extra student places will result in more houses being let for private in the city.[/p][/quote]No chance scprof

3:16pm Wed 6 Feb 13

scprof says...

Yet more green space destroyed by our money grabbing council, who put forward the needs of rich people and students before the people of Durham. Do we really need more retail space? No. Do we need yet more student homes to support a greedy university that wants money for every student it can get? No. Do we need more yuppy homes for rich people from out of the area rather than affordable housing for people born and bred in Durham? No we don't. But the council doesn't care what we want or think, hence more mindful destruction of green space in what was a lovely city, but is rapidly becoming a concrete metropolis where the rich and student landlords become richer and the locals watch as the city we love morph into a place that lacks character. The council planners want sacking.
Yet more green space destroyed by our money grabbing council, who put forward the needs of rich people and students before the people of Durham. Do we really need more retail space? No. Do we need yet more student homes to support a greedy university that wants money for every student it can get? No. Do we need more yuppy homes for rich people from out of the area rather than affordable housing for people born and bred in Durham? No we don't. But the council doesn't care what we want or think, hence more mindful destruction of green space in what was a lovely city, but is rapidly becoming a concrete metropolis where the rich and student landlords become richer and the locals watch as the city we love morph into a place that lacks character. The council planners want sacking. scprof

3:18pm Wed 6 Feb 13

scprof says...

e-mail from Roberta Blackman-Woods



Dear All,

Re: Mount Oswald Decision

You may have heard that Durham Committee Council Planning Committee today approved the Banks Group’s outline planning application to build 291 houses, 1000 student bed spaces and office and retail space on the Mount Oswald golf course. I am contacting you all as you previously attended the Public Meeting.

I am sure you will agree that this is really disappointing news for Durham and I am sorry that all your hard work opposing the application did not stop the plans being passed.

I intend to call a meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss possible options. The action we can take at this stage will depend what you, as local residents, wish to do. I think it will be good for us to look at the situation and make an assessment based on the options. I hope you are able to attend the meeting.

Please email

aimee.roberts@parlia
ment.uk

to express an interest in attending such a meeting.

Best wishes,

Roberta

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP
Shadow Communities and Local Government Minister
Member of Parliament for City of Durham
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
e-mail from Roberta Blackman-Woods Dear All, Re: Mount Oswald Decision You may have heard that Durham Committee Council Planning Committee today approved the Banks Group’s outline planning application to build 291 houses, 1000 student bed spaces and office and retail space on the Mount Oswald golf course. I am contacting you all as you previously attended the Public Meeting. I am sure you will agree that this is really disappointing news for Durham and I am sorry that all your hard work opposing the application did not stop the plans being passed. I intend to call a meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss possible options. The action we can take at this stage will depend what you, as local residents, wish to do. I think it will be good for us to look at the situation and make an assessment based on the options. I hope you are able to attend the meeting. Please email aimee.roberts@parlia ment.uk to express an interest in attending such a meeting. Best wishes, Roberta Roberta Blackman-Woods MP Shadow Communities and Local Government Minister Member of Parliament for City of Durham House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA scprof

3:19pm Wed 6 Feb 13

scprof says...

http://www.savemount
oswald.co.uk/#
http://www.savemount oswald.co.uk/# scprof

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