A plan to build 27 homes has been approved by Darlington Council, despite objections raising concerns about shops and smelly drains.

Keepmoat Homes applied for planning permission to build the three-bedroom homes on land off John Williams Boulevard, Darlington.

The terraced, semi-detached and detached houses will be built with car and cycle parking and an access road to John Williams Boulevard and Vicarage Road.

A local centre was previously proposed for the site as part of the Central Park masterplan.

But a Darlington Borough Council report says: "No operators have been forthcoming in respect of this element and the site is therefore being proposed for housing.

"It (is) in a sustainable location close to transport links and pedestrian routes to local shops and services."

Read more: Arriva bus window smashed in Darlington incident

The plan drew two objections, including concerns that it would go against the approved masterplan for the estate and the site was "not required for housing".

Objectors also raised issues over reliance on town centre shops and retail parks and exceeding the number of houses in the local plan.

They also cited worsening smells from drains at Meadowsweet Lane and "inadequacy" of drainage and sewerage on the Central Park site.

Council officers considered the layout acceptable with landscaping to "soften" the development.

The site included a former fuel filling area where there was a major fuel spillage of up to 7,000 litres in February 2010.

However investigations showed "very little significant impact on the ground" with most of the fuel lost into the drainage system, and the developer said a fuel storage tank had been removed.

Read more: Akbar The Great moves to Duke Street in Darlington

Officers said concerns over odours were an existing problem and "would need to be taken up with the developer/statutory undertaker".

The report adds: "Given that development of the site was already agreed as part of the wider Central Park development, there is no evidence to suggest that the proposal will exacerbate any existing issues."

It says Keepmoat investigated the drains and dealt with a blocked pipe.

The council approved the plan with a series of conditions covering matters like traffic calming with a 20mph speed limit, landscaping, construction, details of the homes and gardens, and minimising risk of land contamination.

There were also measures to protect nesting birds and amphibians and help foraging and biodiversity, although the site had "limited ecological value".

Read next:

Inquiry plea into deaths of Emily Moore, Christie Harnett and Nadia Sharif

Pictures reveal how Durham DLI Museum could be transformed

County Durham fish seller fleeced £100,000 out of vulnerable customers

What do you think of the plans? Why not leave a comment on this story. Go to the top of this story and leave your thoughts. 

If you want to read more great stories, why not subscribe to your Northern Echo for as little as £1.25 a week. Click here.