UP to a hundred homes and a new community centre could be built in a small village, under plans discussed today (Tuesday, February 26).

Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC) is considering building a mix of family and affordable homes on council-owned land in Sherburn Hill, near Durham City.

A community centre, village green and play space could also be created.

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DVRC, a partnership between Durham County Council and developers Keepmoat, held a public consultation event on the proposals at Sherburn Hill Sure Start Centre today.

Officials emphasised the proposals were at an early stage.

Ian Prescott, Keepmoat’s land and partnerships director, said: “The purpose of today’s event is to share some thinking with the village – thinking that the council’s had on the community centre and thinking that Keepmoat and the council have had on the potential of developing some of the land held by the council – and get views from the community on what they think should happen in the village.

“We’re categorically not saying: ‘Here are some proposals’. We’re saying: ‘Here are some sketched areas. What are your views?’”

The site being discussed, which includes fields and rough land, straddles Front Street but most lies to the North, behind existing houses.

Three possible layouts were displayed.

Further consultation events are expected later in the year before any planning applications are submitted.

Meanwhile, Sherburn Hill Community Association (SCHA) has been pushing for a new community centre for the village since before the council closed the existing facility on health and safety grounds in January last year.

SCHA says the council has pledged £400,000, subject to community support, and it hopes to get up to a further £350,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Various designs and locations are being considered.

Chair David Hall said: “It’s up to the community to give their views. Our preference would be a site on the other (North) side of the road because not so many people would have to cross the road.

“There are also benefits in terms of parking and being close to the shops and the play area.”

For more information on the housing scheme, call Keepmoat on 0191-495-4500 or the council on 03000-262-008. For further details on the community centre project, call Mr Hall on 07941-835-706.