A DECISION on whether to build houses on an area used as a play area for children has been delayed until next month.

Councillors had been due to decide whether to give planning permission to a scheme for ten houses in Surtees Avenue, in Bowburn, at a meeting on Tuesday.

However, the decision was delayed until the committee’s next meeting on Tuesday, December 12 to allow highways officers to provide further details about concerns raised over traffic congestion and road safety.

County Durham Housing Group wants to build the three-bedroom homes, which would be available for affordable rent, with tenants offered a reduced rent for five years before being given the chance to buy the properties.

Dozens of people attended a public meeting earlier in the year to voice their concerns about the proposals and 37 formal objections were submitted, including ones from The Bowburn and Parkhill Community Partnership and Cassop-Cum-Quarrington Parish Council.

People living nearby are worried about losing the space as a place to walk their dogs and for children to play – which they say is one of the few remaining ones in the village – as well as the extra traffic on the already congested road, which is also a route used by people travelling to Bowburn Junior School.

The scheme is aimed at helping people get on the housing ladder and the the developers say it will provide a different type of accommodation in the village.

In the last few years hundreds of homes have been approved for Bowburn, with a number already built.