HOMEOWNERS living near the proposed site for 64 new houses have accused the developer of ignoring the impact the scheme would have on their properties.

More than 300 residents signed a petition objecting to plans by David Wilson Homes to build the development on land south of Green Lane, in Barnard Castle, which is being sold by Barnard Castle School to fund its new sixth form centre.

People living in the vicinity of the site are concerned that extra traffic generated by the new homes would exacerbate existing problems with heavy traffic and parking in the area.

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They say the proposed entrance into the new estate is unsuitable because it is too narrow, difficult to manoeuvre, unsuitable for HGVs and too close to Green Lane Primary School and the adjoining nursery, and would therefore jeopardise the safety of children walking to the establishment.

Other concerns include the negative impact on the town’s infrastructure, such as the doctor’s surgery and parking; drainage problems due to land on the development site being raised by two metres – residents say there are already problems with flooding in the area – and the houses blocking natural sunlight to houses on Bartlemere.

A statement released on behalf of unhappy residents in the area said: “Barnard Castle School, who own the land for the proposed development, seem reluctant to enter into any dialogue other than to say ‘it’s nothing to do with the school, contact the developer’.

“David Wilson Homes and the school seem as though they do not want to take into account the impact the development will have on the local residents in the Green Lane area and Green Lane School.”

Mike Roberts, managing director at David Wilson Homes North-East, said the views and comments from members of the public would be taken on board before the planning application was finalised.

He said the company had worked closely with specialist consultants and the local authority to address concerns about traffic and drainage.

Mr Roberts added: “A Statement of Community Involvement has been submitted as part of the planning process.

“We believe our proposal would help meet the undoubted demand for family housing in the area and bring many benefits to the local community.”

Barnard Castle Town Council has also objected to the plans, which will be discussed by Durham County Council’s planning committee at a meeting in the near future.