PLANS have been unveiled for a housing development, shop and pub upgrade in a south Durham village.

Initial Group wants to build 49 homes on a four acre site in Kirk Merrington, near Spennymoor, behind the Fox and Hounds pub and B6287.

The scheme would also include refurbishment of the pub and the creation of a convenience store on adjoining land.

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The proposal is being developed for Initial Group by planning consultants Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP).

They will hold a public meeting on Monday, May 12 to gather opinions from villagers.

Emma Walker, associate director at NLP, said: “The application site comprises an agricultural field and the Fox and Hounds Pub, including the car park.

“The development will deliver up to 49 dwellings which will comprise of two, three and four bedroom properties, with some affordable housing and bungalows.

“The development will also include refurbishment works to the Fox and Hounds pub and a convenience foodstore within the grounds of the pub for existing and future residents.”

Ms Walker said the proposals could support existing community facilities, which have declined in recent years, and lead to additional benefits such as landscaping in the centre of the village or better street lighting.

But some residents are known to have concerns, particularly about the impact more houses would have on road safety.

The public consultation event will be at Kirk Merrington Community Centre, on Front Street, on Monday, May 12, from 2pm to 7pm.

The project team will be available to discuss the plans and answer questions.

Anyone unable to attend can send comments or queries to or Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, Generator Studios, Trafalgar Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2LA.