DOZENS of family homes are set to be built on the site of the former Eastbourne School after plans for a housing estate were passed by council officials.

Developer Esh Property Services applied to Darlington Borough Council to build 76 homes on the now vacant land on The Fairway, off Yarm Road, in Darlington.

The 76 properties will be a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes - 43 of which have been classified as affordable rented homes, 17 in shared ownership, with 16 homes available on the open market.

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The application includes a range of detached, semi-detached and terraced homes, as well as bungalows and apartments.

The application was granted permission by planning officials acting under delegated powers in conjunction with the council’s planning committee chairman after only two letters of objection were received from nearby residents.

The issues raised by the residents included concerns about a loss of privacy, security fears and an increase in traffic on Yarm Road.

A report prepared to explain the decision to grant permission stated: “There was considerable pre-application consultation with local residents which has resulted in broad support for the proposals.

“For such a large development it is of note that there have been no substantive objections from local residents – only two residents have commented.

“The pre-application community involvement work helped to ensure local residents were fully informed of the proposals and timescales and, after suggesting some changes to the details, they appear to support the submitted application.”

The report said that there may be some disruption to residents of The Fairway during construction work and from new residents of the properties once completed, adding: “The original Eastbourne School would have generated considerable traffic in its own right, possibly less than the proposed development.

“Overall it is considered there will be beneficial impacts on local residents from the development of this currently unused brownfield land.”

The original planning application for the scheme revealed that it had been awarded a grant of £906,253 by the Homes and Communities Agency from its 2011-2015 Affordable Homes Programme.

Eastbourne School was demolished in January 2012, three years after the school moved to a new modern facility nearby, when it was renamed St Aiden’s Academy.