THE views of residents living in the shadow of a station set to undergo a major transformation will be taken into account ahead of the scheme being finalised, a meeting has heard.

A Darlington Borough Council meeting heard residents of the Bank Top area of the town had been left in limbo for several years by uncertainty surrounding proposals for an extensive redevelopment of the area.

Councillors heard while a substantial element of the proposed project will be funded by £25m from Tees Valley Combined Authority, details of the scheme had not been revealed as a business case was being developed for a Government grant for the balance of funding.

However, the authority’s leading members are set to agree in principle to the council using its Compulsory Purchase Order “to acquire land interests” that cannot be bought by agreement.

It is understood some residents’ properties may be bought to enable the Station Gateway element of the scheme to be completed by 2024, and in particular make way for a multi-storey car park.

Another area of uncertainty for residents includes the future of the cattle market site, which is due to be demolished after the premises is vacated in May. It has been suggested in the short-term some of the mart area is used to increase parking in the area.

Councillor Cyndi Hughes said many Park East residents had “grave concerns” regarding the plans to redevelop Bank Top station and the surrounding area.

She said: “They are concerned that there does not appear to be joined up thinking in relation to the station improvements and the future of the cattle mart site. And if there is joined up thinking, those thoughts are neither being shared with them nor their democratically elected representatives.”

Cllr Hughes said she and fellow Park East members Councillor Libby McCollom and Councillor Michael Nicholson had faced a wave of questions from residents in Pensbury Street, Waverley Terrace, Park Lane and Clifton Road about possible compulsory purchase of properties, reduction in the value of their homes and the planning blight that has and will continue to be fuelled by uncertainty and prevarication.

She called for residents to be included in meaningful discussions about the future of the area.

Cllr Hughes said while the outline business case for government funding was important, it also affected a large number of people who care deeply about how changes to the station and movement of the cattle mart will change their quality of life and community relationships.

The authority’s leader Councillor Heather Scott said she agreed that residents needed to be involved in shaping the future of the area. She said letters had recently been sent to residents to keep them informed and the authority would seek to gather points of view once the proposals had been put before the council’s cabinet members.