A DECISION is due to made on whether planning permission should be granted to build 98 houses on a “green wedge” in a former pit village.

Gleeson Regeneration Ltd has put forward the proposal for the development on land south of Nursery Gardens, on Thorpe Road, to the southern side of Easington Village.

Almost 100 residents living near the proposed scheme have objected to the application and planning officers at Durham County Council have recommended the plans should be refused.

The applicants had said the proposals would deliver “quality new homes” to local people, providing “much needed” new housing in the location.

But local residents have responded with a host of objections, including that the scheme will reduce the green land that separates Easington from Peterlee, increase traffic, is out of character for the area and does not include affordable housing.

Among the objectors are Easington Parish Council, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and MP Grahame Morris.

Mr Morris said: “The level of development in this area is unsustainable as there is no additional amenities, investment or infrastructure improvements attached to the planning application. The views of the public are being over looked time and time again by planning officers which are not reflecting the views of the community.

“The gradual erosion of the green wedge between Easington and Peterlee is leading to coalescence that will undermine the community and the historic heritage of Easington.”

He added: “I oppose the continued use of green land as development sites, when there are existing brown field alternatives. These are easy options for developers keen to make a quick profit but do not address the underlying housing issues our communities face.”

Gaynor Crute, clerk to the Easington Parish Council, said: “The parish council would again state that the proposed development would result in the loss of the important green wedge without which the ancient settlement of Easington Village would join with the new town of Peterlee resulting in the loss of identity of this historic ancient settlement.”

A previous application for 129 houses on the site was made in 2017, which was also met with widespread objection for people in Easington Village.

A decision will be made by a council planning committee at a meeting, set to take place today at 1pm.