A 'PAUSE' in the development of Darlington Borough Council's draft local plan has been welcomed.

The move comes weeks after it was revealed that two 'garden villages' had received government funding to help deliver the projects.

Last week the council's scrutiny committee discussed some further points around the planned development of the Springfield Park access road.

Traffic modelling work will be carried out over the summer months to explore access options to the potential Skerningham development.

The development is expected to feature 4,500 homes, business premises, shops and leisure facilities, close to a controversial proposed link road between two of the region's busiest routes – the A1 and A66.

While the Burtree Garden Village in Faverdale is expected to deliver 2,000 new homes built over a 15-year period as well 200,000 square metres of employment space.

Councillor Heather Scott, leader of the council said: “This is absolutely the right thing to do given the points raised by the public and at our place scrutiny committee. It’s important we listen to feedback, taking into account all views and options before committing to a local plan for Darlington.”

The 'pause' has been welcomed the council's newly elected Green Party members who want to prevent the 'over-development' of Darlington.

Councillor Matthew Snedker said: “It is clear that the political landscape has shifted in Darlington and many voters were expecting a similar shift in the approach to house building. With 24 new councillors there is a need to allow these newly elected representatives an opportunity to reflect their residents views.

"The Green Party will be reviewing whether the number of new houses can be justified, the mix of housing types in the plan as well as the transport and environmental impacts of this proposal, which supposes that the population of the town will increase by 50 per cent in a generation."

And Cllr Bryony Holroyd added: “There is a temptation for the council to grab as much cash as possible by inflating the number of houses to be built, but this short-term profit will come at the long term cost of the town. Irreplaceable green spaces will be tarmaced over for ever and a town that grows too fast risks losing its sense of identity.”

The group is raising money to pay for a planning consultant to inspect the council's proposals.

To donate to the fundraising visit here.