AN unusual housing scheme in which the developer raised the proportion of affordable housing to 80 per cent after submitting plans has been approved.

Darlington Borough Council’s planning committee heard the scheme to build up to 80 homes on playing fields at the former Springfield Primary School in Salters Lane South, Darlington, had initially been planned to feature just 20 per cent affordable housing.

Councillor Chris McEwan said there had been significant interest shown in the proposed estate from residents and the affordable housing would address a local need.

An officers’ report stated traffic generated from the site would have a detrimental impact on the local roads unless improvements were carried out.

The meeting was told the developer had agreed to give additional funding towards transport in the town and fund improvements to the Thompson Street East roundabout.

Darlington Friends of the Earth and other objectors had raised concerns about the estate potentially damaging wildlife and the area’s environment.

Members heard studies on the possible ecological impacts had found the risks to harming great crested newts and bats was low and a tree planting scheme had been agreed to mitigate the loss of trees on the site.