NUMEROUS proposals to build homes and other properties in Darlington could be put on hold for nine months, a meeting has heard.

Darlington Borough Council’s planning development manager confirmed the authority had decided not to consider three major housing applications - two at Coniscliffe Park and one at Middleton St George - for 1,7000 homes.

David Coates told the authority’s planning committee the council had withdrawn from deciding upon the schemes as its Local Plan, which sets out local planning policies and identifies how land is used, was an unknown length of time off being completed.

Mr Coates said he had received legal advice that details in the Local Plan, such as increased housing figures “need to be in a safer position”, in that they have been passed by the council and later been examined at a public inquiry.

The meeting was told the council was relying on emerging Local Plan and that a five-year housing supply had been established in the borough as a defence should developers present unwelcome applications.

Councillor Nick Wallis told the committee: “Clearly if we followed through this advice it will have implications for many other applications as well.”