Nine new homes will be built on a Durham housing estate despite objections from residents. 

The mix of six, five and four-bedroom homes will be built on the site of the former Mount Oswald Golf Club, to the south of the city, after a proposal was approved by councillors on Durham County Council’s planning committee. 

A masterplan was created for the Mount Oswald estate in 2013 and detailed plans to build around 300 homes, retail units and a community hub. This paved the way for an application for five new homes, which was later approved in 2018, but was not built. 

An updated proposal was submitted in 2022, with the applicant Banks Group saying the previous scheme was no longer economically viable. 

But the plan for nine homes faced opposition from neighbours, with the city’s parish council and City of Durham Trust objecting to the proposal. Residents and councillors praised the energy efficiency of the previous scheme, similar to housing built in Scandinavia. 

The Northern Echo: Where the 9 new homes will be built on the Mount Oswald estate Where the 9 new homes will be built on the Mount Oswald estate (Image: The Northern Echo)

Cllr Susan Walker, of City of Durham Parish Council, said it is “highly disappointing” that the proposal has now been replaced. “The principle of development that was established was for a high-level proposal - that’s not what we have got now,” she said. 

Read next: 

Local concerns were also echoed by the Green party’s Cllr Jonathan Elmer, who said: “It’s really disappointing that what was an exceptional development has been dropped and instead we have got an application with more buildings being built to the minimum industry standards. I am frustrated that we have backtracked on this.” 

However, the scheme was supported by some councillors including Cllr Kevin Shaw who said the  plan meets the future aspirations of the council in providing executive homes to families. 

The application was passed by eight votes to five.