Plans for 49 home housing scheme to rejuvenate Kirk Merrington receives cautious welcome

The Fox and Hounds pub which is to be refurbished as part of a village development

The Fox and Hounds pub which is to be refurbished as part of a village development

First published in News

PLANS to build 49 homes as part of a scheme to rejuvenate a south Durham village have been given a cautious welcome by residents.

Initial Group wants to develop a four acre site in Kirk Merrington, near Spennymoor, with two, three and four bedroom properties.

The Fox and Hounds pub, which lies on the edge of the site, would also be refurbished as part of the scheme and a convenience store built in the village, which currently does not have a shop.

The man behind the scheme - which would create several jobs - is Kirk Merrington businessman Wayne Baister - who has engaged planning consultants Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP) to develop the site.

Concerns have already been voiced that there is no need for the homes when there are other major housing schemes in the area and that the extra traffic would exacerbate problems on the already busy B6287 which passes the site.

To answer such concerns, Mr Baister and NLP held a public consultation in the village’s community centre.

Mr Bastier said: “It’s a really exciting scheme for the village and I believe it’s what it needs. I think it will make it a better place to live.”

Emma Walker, NLP associate director, said the scheme could soon be submitted to Durham County Council.

She said: “We think there’s a need for new homes in south Durham. We’ve looked at the current traffic movement and we’ll prepare a traffic assessment.

“The county council will look at the report and decide if it covers everything or if anything needs to be done on the road.”

Several residents have praised the plans as has county councillor Brian Avery, who represents the area.

Villager Colin Burns said: “It’s a very positive development so long as it doesn’t change the village’s character.

“It’s a local man who is proposing it and he wants the best for the village. The shop and the refurb of the pub are good things.”

But one resident, who asked not to be named, said: “Already at busy times the road is gridlocked.

“People travel through the village from other places so they don’t have to use Thinford roundabout.

“They’re planning to build 49 more homes in the village and that probably means two cars per home which will cause even more problems.

“There are 756 homes for sale half a mile away and a further 179 for sale a mile away. Why do we want another 49 houses built?”

Comments (7)

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11:56am Thu 15 May 14

emo1976 says...

There is already 20+ houses for sale in the village now, mostly on the new estate that has just been built, so why would we need another housing estate?,
The school isn't big enough for the people of Kirk Merrington now, as there is one couple from the village that hasn't getting there child in to the school for the next school year, and this couple have been living in the village most there life's, so if one child under 5 moves to the new estate there can't attend the local school that's walking distance, it's a car journey to the next town.
The roads will become grid locked due to the 700+ new houses been built less than a mile away, so 49 new houses in the village will not help, especially when there still have to build more houses in the Beckwith estate with the 2nd phase to be built.
Depending on what the improvements to the pub is, it could just be new tenants and a coat of paint, and if a shop was profitable there would be one already there,
For me this is just a money maker, which brings more problems than good points.
Emo
There is already 20+ houses for sale in the village now, mostly on the new estate that has just been built, so why would we need another housing estate?, The school isn't big enough for the people of Kirk Merrington now, as there is one couple from the village that hasn't getting there child in to the school for the next school year, and this couple have been living in the village most there life's, so if one child under 5 moves to the new estate there can't attend the local school that's walking distance, it's a car journey to the next town. The roads will become grid locked due to the 700+ new houses been built less than a mile away, so 49 new houses in the village will not help, especially when there still have to build more houses in the Beckwith estate with the 2nd phase to be built. Depending on what the improvements to the pub is, it could just be new tenants and a coat of paint, and if a shop was profitable there would be one already there, For me this is just a money maker, which brings more problems than good points. Emo emo1976
  • Score: 10

7:39pm Fri 16 May 14

njbfigment74 says...

emo1976 is quite right, it is just a money maker, the plans have been drawn up on land that is NOT on the County's Local Plan, it has bad access to the B6287, the land has previously been tried for planning 3 times before in the last 20 years by previous owners and refused. It is right next to the defunct Dene Hopes Tip, so who knows what sort of nastiness is under the ground there for the future.
I went to the "public consultation" and found the people there including Mr Baister (who incidentally skulked around at the back avoiding confrontation) didn't have many answers to my questions only the ones they wanted us to hear, they didn't have an answer to the school problems or traffic saying it was just "up to the council".
Kirk Merrington doesn't need a new shop, unless it is run by the likes of Sainsburys or Tesco etc, the overheads will be too much and the profits too low to justify it, our last shop proved that, after the Post Office pulled out. The "shop" will be built in such a way to turn into yet another house to sell when it's "proven" that its not profitable.
emo1976 is quite right, it is just a money maker, the plans have been drawn up on land that is NOT on the County's Local Plan, it has bad access to the B6287, the land has previously been tried for planning 3 times before in the last 20 years by previous owners and refused. It is right next to the defunct Dene Hopes Tip, so who knows what sort of nastiness is under the ground there for the future. I went to the "public consultation" and found the people there including Mr Baister (who incidentally skulked around at the back avoiding confrontation) didn't have many answers to my questions only the ones they wanted us to hear, they didn't have an answer to the school problems or traffic saying it was just "up to the council". Kirk Merrington doesn't need a new shop, unless it is run by the likes of Sainsburys or Tesco etc, the overheads will be too much and the profits too low to justify it, our last shop proved that, after the Post Office pulled out. The "shop" will be built in such a way to turn into yet another house to sell when it's "proven" that its not profitable. njbfigment74
  • Score: 4

11:24pm Fri 16 May 14

tubgut says...

Simple solution survey the village for or against the majority rules democratic result.
Simple solution survey the village for or against the majority rules democratic result. tubgut
  • Score: -1

5:01pm Sat 17 May 14

raiderz71 says...

A village survey is hardly democracy, a handful of people that are directly affected and have valid arguments would be overruled by others not affected, that;'s why we have planning officers that interpret the law in these matters.

The building of a local shop to me just seems like a dangling carrot, as when we had a shop we only used it for the odd overpriced pint of milk. There is a Sainsburys Local 2 and a bit miles away in Coundon & Chilton, a huge Asda 3 miles away in Spennymoor, when there is a choice of £1 for 4 pints of milk there or £1.50+ in a "local" shop, most people will travel and get the cheaper bottle.

It would be a better option to make it a takeaway for Fish & Chips or Pizza but that would bring its own problems in litter and traffic.
A village survey is hardly democracy, a handful of people that are directly affected and have valid arguments would be overruled by others not affected, that;'s why we have planning officers that interpret the law in these matters. The building of a local shop to me just seems like a dangling carrot, as when we had a shop we only used it for the odd overpriced pint of milk. There is a Sainsburys Local 2 and a bit miles away in Coundon & Chilton, a huge Asda 3 miles away in Spennymoor, when there is a choice of £1 for 4 pints of milk there or £1.50+ in a "local" shop, most people will travel and get the cheaper bottle. It would be a better option to make it a takeaway for Fish & Chips or Pizza but that would bring its own problems in litter and traffic. raiderz71
  • Score: -4

7:43pm Sat 17 May 14

danniing says...

Well firstly, we were not aware that our village needed to be "rejuvinated", its quite nice as it is thank you..totally agree when Emo states that there are problems already with no places at the brand new school for village children, children whose parents, grandparents and probably great grandparents lived in the village. The road approaching the Fox and Hounds from any angle is an accident waiting to happen, without the added threat of a shop being placed there. There has been a number of people tried to run a shop in the village and even with the added bonus of a Post Office, was still unable to survive. One local lady, went out of her way to provide a mini market in the Community Centre once a fortnight and even this had to stop, due to lack of support. There are already a lot of houses for sale in the village and an awful lot more becoming available about a mile away so why the need to make our village any bigger? Mr Baister states that he thinks it will be "an exciting thing for the village" well we have had other "exciting" things going on in the village and he has not got involved in any of them, ie charity days and nights, various fundraising events and lots of other social activities. Maybe he could not make any money out of these exciting things!! As for him stating it "will make the village a better place to live" well, why, if rumour is right is he moving to Brancepeth to one of the two new large properties he has purchased? if the village is going to be so good. Our councillor Mr Avery, who has always been very helpful to us seems to be praising the plans according to the Northern Echo, well lets hope he does what he has done in the past and listens to the majority of people who care for the village and who elected him, not those who just want to make a lot of money out of it....
Well firstly, we were not aware that our village needed to be "rejuvinated", its quite nice as it is thank you..totally agree when Emo states that there are problems already with no places at the brand new school for village children, children whose parents, grandparents and probably great grandparents lived in the village. The road approaching the Fox and Hounds from any angle is an accident waiting to happen, without the added threat of a shop being placed there. There has been a number of people tried to run a shop in the village and even with the added bonus of a Post Office, was still unable to survive. One local lady, went out of her way to provide a mini market in the Community Centre once a fortnight and even this had to stop, due to lack of support. There are already a lot of houses for sale in the village and an awful lot more becoming available about a mile away so why the need to make our village any bigger? Mr Baister states that he thinks it will be "an exciting thing for the village" well we have had other "exciting" things going on in the village and he has not got involved in any of them, ie charity days and nights, various fundraising events and lots of other social activities. Maybe he could not make any money out of these exciting things!! As for him stating it "will make the village a better place to live" well, why, if rumour is right is he moving to Brancepeth to one of the two new large properties he has purchased? if the village is going to be so good. Our councillor Mr Avery, who has always been very helpful to us seems to be praising the plans according to the Northern Echo, well lets hope he does what he has done in the past and listens to the majority of people who care for the village and who elected him, not those who just want to make a lot of money out of it.... danniing
  • Score: 4

12:35pm Sun 18 May 14

tubgut says...

raiderz71 think about Thinford roundabout not thought through, a school that was too small when it was finished, beware planners.
raiderz71 think about Thinford roundabout not thought through, a school that was too small when it was finished, beware planners. tubgut
  • Score: 3

11:57pm Thu 22 May 14

Bombat says...

First of all the headline ' development receives a cautious welcome' is totally misleading. The overall tone of the consultation event would be more accurately described as one of anger and rejection. This development is simply not needed. A significant housing development is underway at Merrington Lane and new houses within Merrington itself remain unsold and empty. This scheme is motivated by one individual who has set out to make money. The idea that he is trying to dress it up as a village enhancement scheme is laughable. Why does he feel he is entitled to make that sort of judgement on a community. If hhis intention is to support the village he really should listen to what people have to say. I fully support the concerns expressed above, the shortage of school places, the increase in traffic congestion, the dangerous access from the main road, and the shop (the token sweetener) which is not required or viable. In addition, household waste will need to pumped into the existing sewer system? The unfortunate residents above the Village Inn have only just recovered from pumping out effluent from their living rooms. The sewer system is already struggling to cope and pumping waste is simply not sustainable. I am also surprised and disappointed to hear the Councillor Avery is supporting the scheme. As an elected member he should be representing the views of the majority and not supporting an individual who is intending to line his pockets at the expense of others. This proposed development makes no sense, it needs to be rejected.
First of all the headline ' development receives a cautious welcome' is totally misleading. The overall tone of the consultation event would be more accurately described as one of anger and rejection. This development is simply not needed. A significant housing development is underway at Merrington Lane and new houses within Merrington itself remain unsold and empty. This scheme is motivated by one individual who has set out to make money. The idea that he is trying to dress it up as a village enhancement scheme is laughable. Why does he feel he is entitled to make that sort of judgement on a community. If hhis intention is to support the village he really should listen to what people have to say. I fully support the concerns expressed above, the shortage of school places, the increase in traffic congestion, the dangerous access from the main road, and the shop (the token sweetener) which is not required or viable. In addition, household waste will need to pumped into the existing sewer system? The unfortunate residents above the Village Inn have only just recovered from pumping out effluent from their living rooms. The sewer system is already struggling to cope and pumping waste is simply not sustainable. I am also surprised and disappointed to hear the Councillor Avery is supporting the scheme. As an elected member he should be representing the views of the majority and not supporting an individual who is intending to line his pockets at the expense of others. This proposed development makes no sense, it needs to be rejected. Bombat
  • Score: 4

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