A PLAN to build homes on empty land has been approved after some residents withdrew their objections to the scheme.

HGT Construction applied for planning permission to build four homes on land off Bowman Street, Darlington.

The three-bedroom, 2.5-storey terraced houses will be built on vacant private land enclosed by walls and fencing.

A workshop building will be demolished to make way for the development.

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Nine letters of objection were sent to Darlington Borough Council.

The objectors raised concerns about increases in traffic, parking problems, noise, dust and rubbish during construction.

They also expressed worries about losing privacy, views, open space and natural light, the impact on wildlife and boundary fencing, and overlooking a nursery operating from the nearby Methodist church.

Following changes to the plans, two objectors withdrew their comments, while two made no further statements and five residents continued to object.

Remarks were made about the impact on property values and alternative uses for the site, but these are not deemed relevant considerations in planning.

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Council officers did not object to the plan and planners recommended it for approval.

They said the small-scale development would contribute to achieving the 492 new homes required per year in the Darlington Borough Local Plan.

The site was said to be in a good location for public transport, part of the cycle network with suitable parking, pedestrian and proposed vehicle access, and electric vehicle charging in the plans.

Officers acknowledged residents' views would change, but the impact did not warrant refusal.

They concluded the plan was well designed, "achieves an acceptable level of amenity" and would improve the appearance of the site.

Councillors on the planning committee voted to pass the plan with conditions.