FEARS have been sparked that plans to build a bungalow on the edge of a village will exacerbate a shortage of parking spaces.

Durham County councillors will this week consider an outline planning application from James Rewbury to build a dwelling on land next to Fern Meadows, Waldridge Village, Chester-le-Street.

Waldridge Parish Council is urging the council to refuse permission because of the parking issue, but the northern area planning committee will be recommended on Thursday to approve the scheme.

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Planning officer Jennifer Jennings says in a report to the committee that the proposed dwelling is likely to be a three-bedroom bungalow, but details have not been finalised.

She says that Waldridge Parish Council objected to the scheme after receiving a series of complaints.

“There is a severe shortage of car parking in this part of the village," she said.

“It is felt that the proposed dwelling would impact on parking provision, as on-street parking places used by residents each night would be lost to allow sufficient space for a vehicle to access and leave the drive of the proposed dwelling.

“Also as the development would go right to the road, cars would not be able to park up on the development side of the road anymore.

“The parish council has received lots of complaints from residents about village parking provision and the police have been called out to resolve disputes around this issue.

"The lack of parking is a live issue in the village.”

Ms Jennings says the parish council is also concerned that the development would be outside the settlement boundary on a

greenfield site and that three letters of objection have been submitted by residents.

Councillors will be told that the applicant has said in a statement to the council that the parking “is outside of, and not affected by, this proposed development.

“The proposed bungalow has provision for off street parking of up to four private vehicles so does not exacerbate the perceived problem of parking.

“The proposed bungalow does not limit parking, access/egress from existing or the proposed bungalow.”

Ms Jennings says the development is considered acceptable.

“Access issues to the property and the impact on on-street parking within the village have been considered and the submitted plan has been amended in an attempt to address the concerns raised.

“Overall the proposal is considered an appropriate form of development.”