PLANS for 61 new homes near Bishop Auckland have been submitted to Durham County Council, prompting objections from some residents.

Gleeson Homes and Regeneration has applied for planning permission to build the houses in Dovecot Hill, South Church.

Five objections to the two, three and four bedroom houses have been submitted online, with residents arguing that the development will block their picturesque views.

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One resident said: “My objections are based on the amount of extra traffic that will be generated by the 61 proposed homes. The industrial estate traffic is already very high, and access can be difficult entering West View and Bigland Terrace because of the high volume of road traffic.

“My other objection is I do not wish to have my view blocked by fencing. We bought our home because of the view, there were no planning applications for new homes 20 years ago and that was why we bought our property. Will we be compensated for the loss of our view.”

The resident, of West View, in South Church, also raised concerns around the wildlife that lives on the land, arguing that rare bird life could be affected.

Another resident, also of West View, agreed the increase in traffic could be an issue, and said: “Personally this will seriously affect the quality of my life and privacy. I will have at least five new houses on two sides of my home, cutting off all views I have from the property and much of the light to my garden.

“This would no longer be West View but would have to be renamed West Blocked.”

The land has been vacant since 2012 when allotments were removed which were there since the 1920s.

In a document submitted with the application, it states: “The applicants (Gleeson homes) have undertaken considerable pre-application dialogue with architects, local residents, consultants and relevant officers at the council to ensure the scheme not only delivers high quality design but also responds to the aspirations of the local community.”

Durham County Council planning officers will make a decision on the application in due course.

The public has until Monday, August 18, to comment at durham.gov.uk