A COUNCILLOR has raised concerns following the announcement of a second ‘garden village’ to be built in the town.

Details of Burtree Garden Village in Faverdale, Darlington, were released by developers following last week’s funding announcement by the Government.

The site will see 2,000 homes built over a 15-year period and is one of 19 large-scale developments in the country to have been granted the status on Thursday by The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Following the proposal Matthew Snedker, Councillor for the College Ward, voiced concerns over how the garden village will impact the town’s infrastructure and whether the new homes will meet housing and buyer’s needs.

He said: “When it comes to building houses it should be a case of building when and where we need the housing rather than where developers can make money. As a party we feel there's not going to be enough smaller affordable properties like terraces or bungalows.

"These houses are built and there are cases where they struggle to sell. People find they are buying off plan but by the time they move in the houses around them have been reduced in price. Not only that, unaffordable houses mean help-to-buy schemes are fuelling a property crash, as tax payers money is used to subsidise the developer.

"These houses are supposed to last hundreds of years and often they are built to minimum standards which cost the buyer more in terms of heating their home.

"Another factor is transport. With that number of people moving in there's going to be an increase of car use. This is going to contribute to air pollution, make our roads more dangerous for all users and is playing to the problem of climate change."

A Darlington Borough Council spokesman said: “The proposals for Faverdale and Skerningham are both in the very early stages, having only last week been given garden village status by the government. No formal planning applications have been received.

“Garden villages would have housing, employment, schools and healthcare integrated with open space, meeting the needs of new communities.

“This is very early days and we are mindful of the need to listen to everyone’s views on this subject, taking into account the impact.”

In response to the concerns Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive of Hellens Group, said: “Hellens is a registered provider of affordable homes with Homes England. We plan to deliver 500 affordable houses on the Garden Village.

“There will be a range of house types (terraces, bungalows etc) and a mix of affordable rent and affordable home ownership.

“Hellens has a strong track record of delivering affordable homes across the region, including many bungalows - recent schemes include Lingfield Point, Darlington, Jubilee Gardens, Stockton, Carlton, Stockton (includes bungalows) and Wheatley Hill, Durham (all bungalows).

“New infrastructure will be delivered to enable the development to come forward. Houses built will be energy efficient and in line with government guidance.

“These standards are high with the long term aim of reducing our carbon footprint nationally – new homes are significantly cheaper to heat than older homes.”