OPPOSING councillors set aside party politics and agreed it would be ‘crazy’ to allow a developer to build houses on land earmarked for industrial use.

Developer St Modwen wants to build 600 homes on land it owns between Whessoe Road and Faverdale Industrial Estate.

Those plans now look doomed to failure, after Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet voted to refuse to grant permission for St Modwen to use council-owned land for an access road to the proposed development, which had been dubbed Faverdale Garden Village.

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Cabinet members agreed to work with St Modwen to develop the land for employment use and would allow access roads to be built if the land was being used for that purpose.

Council leader Bill Dixon and opposite number Heather Scott, who attends cabinet in her role as leader of the Conservative group, agreed that the land was unsuitable for housing.

Coun Dixon said: “This is purely industrial land, it would be crazy to use it for housing when there is sufficient land for housing elsewhere in the borough.

“What we may be short of is industrial land.”

Coun Scott added: “I agree totally. It is important that we have got as much land available as possible for this kind of [industrial] development.

“It is crazy even considering putting up housing there.”

No one from St Modwen was present at Tuesday's (March 4) meeting.