PLANS for a new housing development on the outskirts of Barnard Castle will be considered by members of Durham County Council tomorrow.

Banks Property wants planning permission for up to 100 family homes on a 5.5 hectare site to the north of the A67 Darlington Road, around a mile to the north east of the town centre.

The scheme, which includes landscaping and an electric vehicle charging point for each house, is recommended for approval by the council's county planning committee, which meets tomorrow (Tuesday, March 2).

Banks says around 60 full-time jobs would be supported on site during construction and a further 90 boosted indirectly through investment in the regional supply chain.

The council received 142 letters of support for the plan, from people hoping the homes would boost jobs and support services such as rural bus routes, and 252 in opposition. Marwood Parish Council Stainton and Streatlam Parish Council raised concerns about the potential impact on the countryside, roads and local amenities.

Duncan Holness, project manager at Banks Property, says: “This is a carefully-designed, high-quality development situated in the most appropriate place in Barnard Castle for new homes and we are confident that the Council’s planning officers’ recommendation for approval is fully deserved.

“We know there is a real demand for the types of properties being proposed for the Darlington Road site, with much of the local feedback we’ve had focusing on how a lack of supply is forcing young people and families who’ve been brought up here to move away when they want to make their homes in the place they know and love.

“We, of course, understand that some local people will have concerns about our plans. The Council’s officers along with other statutory agencies have thoroughly scrutinised our application to ensure that these issues are comprehensively addressed and resolved before reaching their recommendation for approval.

“However, it has been disappointing to see objections to our plans primarily coming from residents of the adjacent Castle Vale estate, many of whom took the chance to move to Barnard Castle when it was built just a few years ago.

“Looking to deny others the same chance to enjoy living here that they have had hardly seems fair, and we strongly believe that being able to live in your chosen community should be an opportunity that is as widely available as possible.

“The increased supply of new family homes that our Darlington Road development will deliver for Barnard Castle will give more local young families the chance to build their lives here, and we hope the County Council’s planning committee will therefore heed the recommendation of their expert officers when it comes to consider our proposals.”

Planning officers recommend approval of the outline application with conditions including approval of reserved matters such as the layout and scale of the development.

A Section 106 Legal Agreement would also be needed to secure a financial contribution of £157,410 towards open space and recreational facilities, 20 per cent affordable housing, £5,000 towards a traffic gateway feature on the A67 and the long term management and maintenance of the site including biodiversity habitat creation.