RESIDENTS are celebrating after plans for three bungalows which would they said have towered over their homes were withdrawn.

Karbon Homes and Swale Valley Construction were granted planning permission by Durham County Council for 16 homes on the site of the former Ouston Infant School in the village near Chester-le-Street.

Residents were shocked the see the development taking shape about six feet above the former ground level, after the school was levelled.

Building was halted following protests that some of the planned homes would intrude on their privacy and the developer submitted a renewed application for three of the bungalows to replaced by two. A planning committee meeting in December asked for further dialogue to take place.

Resident Emma Poole said: “We are really pleased the issue has been resolved. To be fair to Karbon Homes and Swale Valley Construction, they have listened to our concerns.”

Zoey Hawthorne, assistant director of development delivery, Karbon Homes, said: “While work was progressing on part of the site we were made aware of some residents’ concerns about the positioning of three of the new bungalows.

“Although our development proposals for the site were approved by Durham County Council’s planning team, we appreciated that aspects of this development were clearly causing concern for a few of the adjoining residents.

“We looked into this and have consulted with local residents and senior planning officers at the county council, considering alternative design solutions and technical solutions that could be implemented to alleviate residents’ concerns.

“As a result, over the last few days, we have obtained support from the council to amend the existing development proposals to remove the three bungalows which were of key concern. This piece of land will remain undeveloped and be landscaped instead. This has been considered by Durham Council Council and they are fully supportive.

"We want to thank residents for their patience while this matter has been discussed and resolved.”

Stephen Reed, Durham County Council’s planning development manager, said: “We are aware of residents’ concerns and have been liaising with Karbon Homes on how best to address these. We can confirm that the application related to the three bungalows has now been withdrawn and that we have received plans to landscape this part of the site. We will shortly be writing to residents to ensure they have the opportunity to comment.”