THE deadline passed this week for the public to comment on the impending demise of a landmark roadhouse hotel on the outskirts of Durham.

Proposals to demolish the Cock o' the North, at Farewell Hall, to make way for housing, previously won outline planning approval from the city council. Detailed plans for the replacement mixed housing and apartment development were recently lodged.

Shepherd Homes, of York, which negotiated the purchase of the two-acre site from Birmingham-based pub/brewery group Mitchell and Butler, wants to replace the 67-year-old hotel with 44 residential units, including a four-storey apartment block containing 25 flats.

A company spokeswoman said talks took place with city council planning officers before detailed development plans were drawn up.

The council invited public comment on the proposals, before going in front of its development control committee, possibly next month.

Among interested parties that have spoken out against the scheme is the Osborne Trust, a north Durham conservation group. Trust secretary Andrew Huggan said: "We strongly oppose this development on such a sensitive site of high environmental value, which is a rural gateway to the cathedral city."