PLANS for a major housing development on a brownfield site in north Durham are being recommended for approval next week.

Proposals for the redevelopment of Lamplas (Durham) Ltd's Pont Factory in Pont Lane, Leadgate, will come under the spotlight at a Durham County Council area planning committee meeting on Thursday (February 27).

Planning officers are recommending approval for the proposals by Gleeson Developments to build 76 homes on the site containing a vacant factory.

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It will incorporate 11 two-bedroom semi-detached, 47 three-bedroom semi-detached, 14 three-bedroomed detached and four four-bedroom detached homes.

Car parking will be provided for each property together with visitor parking within the development. Access will be from an unnamed road which connects the B6309 and Pont lane.

Planning permission was granted in 2007 for the demolition of the existing factory and erection of the 74 homes, but permission has since lapsed.

One business at Crag Works objected to the proposals on the basis that their operations generate noise that may lead to complaints from the occupants of the proposed homes.

In its statement, Gleeson Developments says it has undertaken considerable pre-application dialogue with local residents, architects and council officers to ensure the scheme delivers “high-quality design” and meets the aspirations of the local community.

Council planning officers say the development would effectively re-use land that had been previously developed.

A report to the meetings says: “The resident amenity of occupiers of neighbouring dwellings would be protected with no unreasonable overbearing, overshadowing or loss of privacy to nearby occupiers.

“The layout, scale and appearance of the dwellings, as well as a positive landscaping scheme and quality materials is appropriate to its surroundings and will have a minimal wider landscape impact.”

The Durham County Council strategic housing market assessment stipulates a requirement of 15 per cent affordable housing – meaning a development of this size would normally incorporate 11 affordable homes.

However, the developer has offered the development in its entirely for private sale, saying the cost of developing the site combined with low sales values in the area would mean the provision of affordable housing would render the site unviable.

Council officers say they have verified this through a rigorous assessment.