Gladman Developments wants to build around 300 homes on land off Durham Road, in Middlestone Moor.
The Cheshire-based firm has begun consulting councillors and residents and has sent an outline of the proposed scheme to 650 households in a bid to gather feedback before pursuing planning consent.
The site is around 34 acres in size and the company describes the 300 houses it wants to build as ‘high quality family homes, of which 10 per cent would be affordable homes suitable for local people’.
The houses would be of varying sizes, types and tenures and new landscape planting would complement existing hedgerows and trees.
Gladman states that over a quarter of the site would be public open spaces with recreational facilities, including a children’s play area.
The company has said all comments received during the consultation exercise will be taken into account before the final plan is drawn up and a planning application submitted to Durham County Council.
Meanwhile, work is yet to start on a plan for 46 houses nearby, on the former Middlestone Moor County Junior Mixed School playing field.
Last July, Durham County Council’s planning committee agreed it was minded to approve the scheme by Keepmoat, which was referred to the Secretary of State for consideration.
The council has been told it can determine the application but some details are yet to be finalised.
A key consideration is that the Tudhoe Mill Sewerage Treatment Works serving the area is at full capacity.
Northumbrian Water planned to upgrade the plant by June 2015 to cope with the extra flow from a number of planned developments but now expects to complete the work in 2017.
Ian Prescott, land and partnerships director at Keepmoat, said: “If this remains their target date we would envisage works starting on site in the latter half of 2016 with the first homes been completed and occupied in 2017.”
A spokesperson said the delay should not impact upon longer term plans such as Gladman’s proposal.