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Meeting to discuss housing plan this week
COUNCILLORS will this week discuss a controversial housing development on green field land in north Durham.
Keepmoat has submitted a planning application to Durham County Council to build 54 houses on the land south of Palmer Road at Flint Hill, near Stanley.
But the plan has attracted opposition from people who live in the area.
The council has received a 206 individual letters of objection from 128 households in the area and a petition of 283 names.
Dipton Community Partnership has lodged an official objection to the scheme.
Residents feel the development would remove green space from the area near a nature reserve and change it from a quiet residential neighbourhood to one likely to suffer from traffic problems.
Senior planning officer Steve France said: “There has been a strong and well-coordinated campaign of objection to the planning application.
“Residents wish to have the land protected as part of the adjacent nature reserve, with the land considered to have an intrinsic beauty as countryside, adding to the peaceful enjoyment of surrounding residential properties.”
Part of the 2.4 hectacre site has been used as a paddock, but is now covered in low scrub and grasses and the remainder includes a small football pitch with metal goalposts.
The proposed housing is a mix of two, three and four bedroom properties
The company has said it will make a financial contribution towards the provision of an extra classroom at St Patrick’s PC Primary School nearby.
Keepmoat has said the proposed landscaping will enhance the biological habitats of the site.
In a planning statement it said the development will "significantly improve the quality of the public space currently available to existing residents including the proposed improvements to the existing kick about area".
Mr France has written a report for members of the planning committee recommending that the proposals should be endorsed.
He said: “The monies secured by legal agreement for the classroom will address an identified shortfall in the area, with benefits to both the site and the wider community.
“It cannot be argued that the local community will lose an area of open countryside.”
The meeting is to be held sat the Council Chamber at County Hall in Durham at 2pm on Thursday.
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