COUNCILLORS have granted planning permission for 24 bungalows on the site of a former swimming pool, despite concerns over potential parking problems in the area.

Members of Durham County Council’s area planning committee (north) endorsed an application by Karbon homes for 24 bungalows for the over-50s at the former Belle Vue Swimming Centre, in Ashdale Road, Consett.

The committee was told there were concerns over the displacement of cars currently using the site for parking, by parents dropping off and picking up children from Consett Academy.

Ward councillor Alex Watson said: “A smaller development would have been preferable given that it is going to take out an 80-vehicle car park.

“There are already horrendous problems in that area.”

Councillor Alan Shield said while Ashdale Road had become extremely congested it would be difficult to turn down the development as there were no statutory objections to it.

He urged the developer look again to see if issues regarding pedestrian access through development could be mitigated.

Recommending the committee approve the plans, senior planning officer Steve France said highways officers had no objections to the scheme. He added, people parking on the site were doing so illegally.