CROWDS of people turned out to have their say on plans to build more than 6,000 homes in Darlington.

Residents potentially affected by Darlington Borough Council’s Making and Growing Places plan turned out in their droves to a consultation event held at St Mary’s Community Centre in Cockerton today (Wednesday, June 18).

The event was staged to garner opinions on a revised draft policy prepared following an initial consultation period held last summer.

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Many residents voiced their objections to the plans, which could see homes built on green spaces throughout the town.

Representatives from The Friends of Cocker Beck rallied against proposals to build close to the conservation area.

Jan Needham said: “We’ve just got planning permission to build a pond and now they’re going to dump buildings 100 metres from it.

“We’ve been doing great work down there and it’s just obscene.”

Others were there to register their dismay at plans to build on a well-used field close to Bellburn Lane.

Bev Swainston said: “Every time I’ve been out on that field it’s being used. It’s the only green area around and we don’t want it building on.”

Hazel Neasham, head of housing for the council, said: “The objections are what you’d expect from a community used to a piece of green space and concerned that it’s going to disappear.

“Fifty years ago, Branksome was farm land and people were probably saying don’t build there.

“Any town that wants to grow needs to grow properties.

“If we want to attract investment we need places for people to live – we’ve also got an ageing population and young people wanting to live independently.

“Any new housing will cause concern but we need to improve – this development will allow us to do that.”

Another consultation event will be held at St Andrew’s Church Hall in Haughton le Skerne tomorrow from 5pm.